Protecting your brand: the importance of a trademark
By Michael Fetter
13 November 2018
Are you currently using an un-trademarked business name or logo? If yes, now is the time to change that.
You may think your business name or logo is super catchy… witty… and perfectly encompasses the goods/services your business offers.
If you’re thinking this way, the chances are someone else may be thinking similarly. With more and more people trademarking their brand in recent times, it is difficult to come up with a business name or logo that isn’t already being used within a similar industry.
Exhausting all the time, energy and money into creating your business and marketing the brand is useless if the brand is not protected. You may think it’s not the right time to register your brand because of the cost of doing so, however a much larger cost may be on the horizon if you continue using an unregistered brand.
For example, you may realise 5 years down the track, after building a reputation around your brand, that another similar company using the same brand or catchphrase has registered theirs. This exposes you and your business to potential claims of passing off or a claim for misleading and deceptive conduct under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
Moreover, realising another business is using your brand and has taken the steps to have it registered may mean that you will have to completely rebrand your business, create a new business name, logo and slogans/catchphrases. This may make your company’s marketing campaign redundant and means you may have to:
- Create a new website;
- Update internal policies;
- Update flyers, briefs;
- Change your email domain;
- Update business cards;
- Create a new Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter page, Snapchat page etc.
You name it! If it has your brand on it, it has to be changed. The negative effects this is likely to have on your business are immense.
Registering your trademark is not an overly difficult process unless it is found that other companies are already using similar brands to yours for similar services. This is why it is so important to do your due diligence before starting your business and registering your business name, and if not, registering your trade mark as soon as you begin to trade.
Simply having a business name provides you no intellectual property rights over that name. Whilst using the name can give you common law rights, having a registered trademark will make shutting down a competitor who starts using the name after you a lot easier, quicker and cheaper.
If you would like to register a trademark, please contact a member of our Commercial Law Team.
Tisher Liner FC Law can assist in undertaking such due diligence on a proposed business name before having it registered, and can also act on your behalf in applying to IP Australia to have your proposed trademarks registered.
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