Many people think that a trade mark is a company logo that is easily recognisable to the public. However, a trade mark is not just a logo. It can be a jingle, a slogan, letter, number, word, symbol, scent, picture or aspect of packaging.
It is essentially something that is unique to your business that sets you apart from your competitors.
Benefits of registering a trade mark
It is important to register your trade mark so that you have the exclusive registered legal right to use, license and sell your intellectual property in Australia.
- It helps protect the identity of your goods and services;
- Prevent the imitation of your brand;
- A trade mark is a valuable marketing tool;
- Helps build the commercial value of your business;
- Provides legal protection; and
- Gives you the power to prevent others from using your trade mark.
How do I apply for a trade mark?
You can apply for a trade mark from the IP Australia website or hire an intellectual property lawyer lodge and manage your trade mark application for you.
It is important to check that the trade mark that you want to register is not already in use by another company.
How long does my trade mark protection last?
The registration period is for an initial ten years and from there you can renew your registration for a further period.
- It can take between seven and eight months before your trade mark is registered, so apply as early as possible;
- You will need to pay the registration amount within six months from the date your accepted application is first advertised – your trade mark will not be registered until this is paid;
- Use your trademark within three years or you are at risk of losing the registration as other businesses can apply to deregister your trade mark for non use; and
- This registration covers you in Australia for 10 years – but if you are looking for international registration – you have to apply in every country individually that you want to be registered in.
If you are unsure about the registration process, then speak with an intellectual property lawyer.
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