Trade marks update

Why register a trade mark?

Trade marks distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the mark for your goods or services throughout Australia.

A trade mark can also be integral to your marketing. Consider how closely the golden arches have become associated with McDonald’s or the phrase “JUST DO IT” with Nike. The public very quickly perceive that a certain image, quality and reputation can be linked to goods and services bearing a trade mark.

The value of your trade mark increases as your business grows and becomes more successful. Given this, it is important to consider marketing your new or existing business under a distinctive trade mark, to establish an image for it earlier rather than later.

Registration of a business name identifies the owner of the business (and is compulsory before trading starts). Unlike trade marks, business names do not provide proprietary rights for the use of the trading name. Identical or similar words may therefore be registered as business names by different people in other states or territories.

However, if you have a registered trade mark, you can take legal action against anyone who infringes on your trade mark e.g. if a business name owner uses your mark (or one confusingly similar) for goods or services to which your registration applies.

Which kind of marks are easily registered?

Individual trade marks need to be somewhat unique, to ensure that the product or service being trade marked is not effectively removed from the market, given that other traders will need to use certain words or images to describe their own goods or services in the same category (“class”) as yours.

How can BSP Lawyers assist you?

  • We can undertake trade mark searches to ensure that your mark is available for use in relation to your goods or services.
  • We can also assess whether your trade mark is likely to proceed to registration without objection.
  • It is important to lodge your trade mark application in the most appropriate classes of goods or services, so as to avoid a claim for non-use in the future.
  • As well as lodging your trade mark application, we can also help you overcome any adverse reports from IP Australia, to ensure the best chance of the mark being registered.

Addressing these issues early can help you avoid obstacles to registration down the track. We have a great deal of experience in conducting searches, lodging trade mark applications, obtaining registrations and providing advice to prospective applicants.

For further information or advice in relation to your intellectual property, please do not hesitate to contact Peter Bazzani or Brett Taback.