The brand name is one of the most important identities that represent your business. Customers tend to retain brand recognition from the name, logo, slogan, colour scheme, or even exclusive sound. In order to protect these distinctive aspects of your brand from plagiarism, the best way is to obtain a trademark. To start with, what is a Trademark?
What is a Trademark?
In short, a trademark is a symbol or words legally registered, that represent a product or a company.
It is one of the most effective ways to protect your business’s branding, including the logo, brand name, or any other elements that distinguishes your business. It also gives you the legal rights against your competitors who attempt to use similar branding assets.
Not only that, but it creates protection for your business, in particular, protecting your brand’s reputation. Whether you are someone who just heard about this for the first time or you have extensive knowledge about trademarks but are unsure of how to get started, it is common that you may have a lot of unanswered questions. We’ve gathered a list of the most frequently asked questions to satisfy your needs.
What are the benefits of Trademarks?
As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits from trademark registration is to prevent competitors from registering the same or a similar trademark. If you don’t protect your brand, you will end up having little to no rights in case other businesses violate your intellectual property.
Another benefit from registering a trademark is the fact that it is a great marketing tool. Comparing two businesses that offer the same product, one with trademark and one without. The one with a trademark registered has a better reputation because it represents a certain quality of goods and services, making your business stand out from competitors.
When is the right time to trademark your brand?
As soon as possible. The faster you register your trademark, the less risk you have in risking your trademark name with others. If you are working on registering on your trademark with your trademark lawyer or consultant, the first step they would do is to check whether the name you’re looking to use is already in use by someone else. If there’s no issues then you will be able to proceed to the application phase.
Which class do I choose?
Within the application process, you are required to specify which category your products and services fall into (there are a total of 45 classes). It is important that you only register a trade mark in a class that is relevant to your products and services as each class that you desire to register your trade mark in will cost additional fees. In case your mark covers different products, it is necessary to file trademarks in multiple classes.
How long does it take?
Once your application is submitted, there are potential issues that may arise, for example, objections from your competitors or you may also receive questions from IP Australia. If this process continues effectively without any more issues, your registration may be completed approximately seven and half months after the initial application was made. In addition, the Australian trademark registration does not cover protection internationally, therefore if you are looking for international protection as well, there will be additional processes.
In conclusion, it is possible to trade without obtaining registration. However, if you do obtain a registration trademark you will have a record of the date you started using a trademark, the record of the mark you’ve registered and the classes you’ve registered for. Therefore, if there comes a time where you want to claim your rights as an owner of the trademark, it can be advantageous to enforce your rights against others who are using a mark that is similar as yours.
The process of registering a trademark with IP Australia can be time consuming as it involves filling applications, classifying your classes as well as conducting a trademark search before applying. At Legalvision, we are experts in Australian trademark registration. Our experienced trademark registration lawyers provide full trademark registration services, including assisting in application filling processes (both in Australia and International), responding to trade mark oppositions on your behalf, resolving Intellectual property disputes, defending a trade mark infringement claim, paying renewal fees, etc.
Our intellectual property lawyers have successfully completed the registration process for hundreds of trademarks in Australia as well as internationally. Contact us today for more information.