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When is the right time to file a Trade Mark?

When to apply for a Trade Mark

As a business owner, protecting your brand name and registering a trade mark is one of the most important steps in positioning your business for sustained success. Brand identity is fast becoming one of the most valuable assets for a business. A ‘brand’ is often associated with a logo but it means much more as your most recognisable business asset. Everything you do, creates your brand and reputation, particularly in today’s online marketplace. Your unique brand name in the marketplace sets you apart from your competitors as every brand has its own distinct identity and culture. The best way to protect your brand is through a registered trade mark.

Standing out in a crowded marketplace

Your customers buy from you and your business. They search online for you because you are known for delivering a particular quality or type of product or service. Once you and your business become recognised as a brand, it is important that you protect your goodwill and relationship with your customers. A key way to secure your brand asset is through your trade mark because it is a ‘sign” or symbol that designates you as the originator of products or services. A registered trade mark gives you the exclusive right to use that mark. If somebody else was permitted to use your trade mark, this would result in customer confusion and lost sales. Your competitor will have to find another name otherwise risk trade mark infringement because the name is taken!

Why protect your business name?

You secure your brand assets through trade mark registration. Signs that are protected through registration as trademarks are typically names, logos and slogans. You need to protect your business name so that nobody else can use it.  You would not want a competitor using the same name as yours and stealing your market share.

You should protect your brand name and logo as soon as possible and register for a trade mark before it’s too late because there are earlier trade marks on the trade mark register that are the same or similar to yours. Many businesses think they will “get around to it later” but the name could be taken by someone else or a competitor could be riding off your reputation and goodwill in the online marketplace.

It is far more difficult and expensive to protect your brand name with a common law trade mark than a registered trade mark. It is much easier to protect registered rights than unregistered rights!

Search before you apply!

Before applying for a trade mark, make sure that you conduct a thorough trade mark and name search to catch any red flags early on in the process. An initial search should be undertaken to ensure the name is not already taken and that you are clear to obtain rights to a brand name that will give you a unique and distinctive identity in your field or industry.

With a registered trade mark, you can have peace of mind that you have the exclusive right to use your brand name and that you are not infringing someone else’s trade mark.

Always be proactive when building your brand. Register your trade mark as soon as possible. It is the best way to protect your name and will help you avoid any legal risks.

Jaclyn-Mae Floro, BCompSc

Contact W3IP Law on 1300 776 614 or 0451 951 528 for more information about any of our services or get in touch at law@w3iplaw.com.au.
Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.

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