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Inside Wire: Be Smart and Protect your Trade Marks

A Trade Mark is a valuable Business Asset

  • Your brand name or image is your most valuable business asset.
  • It is a critical and valuable asset irrespective of the size of your business.
  • The identity of your goods and services is worth protecting.
  • A registered trade mark gives you the exclusive legal right to use, license or sell it within Australia.
  • Ownership at common law as a result of goodwill or reputation attached to it.
  • Key advantage of registration is that rights arise from registration itself (not from reputation attached to trade mark). Relying on common law protection rather than registration can be protracted and uncertain. Reputation rights are limited geographically to where reputation has been developed. You have to show reputation/good will, confusion and deception and there is or there is likely to be damage (‘classical trinity’ of Passing Off).
  • Failure to protect your trade mark can put your business at risk.


If You Think the Brand you have Built is valuable, Why would You not Protect it?

  • Secure your most valuable business asset (IP)
  • Increase the sale value of your business through strong IP rights
  • Protect against copying which is easy today on the Internet
  • Manage your business risk against IP infringement allegations and expensive legal proceedings
  • Greater potential to secure investors for commercialisation
  • Give you exclusive IP rights throughout Australia
  • Ensure that your IP remains rightfully yours and that you avoid costly dispute later
  • Provide peace of mind that your IP is secured and enforceable


“Soda is water with a bunch of sugar and a lot of crap thrown in.  You can put whatever you want on the outside of the can, but there is really no difference between a cola and another cola.  You may say that Coca-Cola tastes different – that’s what 100 years of playing with your mind does to  you”… A brand name value is the “most sustainable competitive advantage known to business”.

Aswath Damodoran, Professor of Finance at New York’s University’s Stern School of Business.
Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.

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