A trade mark (or “mark”) is a way of identifying a unique product or service. It can include a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or a combination of these that distinguishes your goods and/or services from competitors. Your trade mark is an important asset to building and maintaining your business. There are many benefits associated with registering a trade mark and in this blog we will take you through the 10 main reasons why registering a trade mark is a good idea for your business.
Before registering, a preliminary identity and similarity search in the trade mark data bases of IP Australia and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) will increase (or almost exclude) any likelihood of confusion, thus being an obstacle to registration or use of your business’ name or logo.
Registering your trade mark gives you the exclusive right to use it within the relevant geographic area. A registered trade mark also provides you with exclusive rights to license and sell the mark. This is a valuable marketing tool because the value and worth of the trade mark will increase with the success of the business it is associated with.
3. Presumption of Ownership
Anyone else who uses your registered trade mark will be presumed to have wilfully infringed upon your mark, and you could be entitled to damages as a result of the infringement. This means it is easier for you to take legal action to stop the infringing party and receive compensation for the wrongful use.
Trade Mark registration serves as constructive notice to the rest of the country that you are the owner of the mark, even if you do not do business nationally. That means you are protected against any attempts to stop you trading under a protected name or logo, unless you are not using the trade mark. If you do not register the trade mark and there happens to be a registered owner of an identical or a substantially similar mark, that owner will have an indefinite period of time to find you and sue you for infringement.
5. Avoid Costly Expenses
If you do not search and register your trademark and you find out later that another company already has the same or a very similar name or logo, you will have to redo all your business cards, stationery, advertising and signs. Additionally, this may also leave you open to liability for using a mark already registered. Litigation expenses can be costly in defending your use of the mark.
6. Retain Your Customers
If you have to change your business name because you later find out that someone else has already registered an identical or similar trade mark, you could avoid confusion and thus retain your customers. The stronger your mark is protected, the more likely it is for customers to return to you for certain products and services if they can identify you easily.
7. Let Your Trademark Make Money for You
Having a registered trade mark in place provides you with the option to grant licenses to other businesses or companies that would like to use your mark. They will have to pay you license fees for this privilege which opens the possibility for another income stream for you.
8. Option to Expand Protection
With a registered trade mark in your home country you obtain the option to expand its protection in several countries around the globe. This will give you greater protection should your business decide it wishes to expand to an overseas market.
9. Brand Awareness
A distinctive trade mark stands out and enables the public to identify your business or company as the origin of the goods and services. The more you market and promote your business brand in association with your registered mark, the more the public will be aware of your services or products upon seeing your trade mark.
10. Impress and Increase Value
A registered trade mark strengthens the reputation of your business and can increase its value. This means that in the long term, the more your business increases in value and expands so will the public’s awareness of your brand and trade mark.
If you would like to discuss your intellectual property matter with one of our lawyers, please contact us on 9963 9800 or via our contact form.