We know there can be a lot of expenses when you’re setting up your business but a trademark is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT part of your business set up, however it’s often the one item that is overlooked. We’re excited to now offer trademark application services to help you put your best foot forward when starting a new business or launching a new brand, product or service.
What is a trademark?
Whilst they can include sounds and smells, trademarks are mostly the words, phrases and logos you use to make your goods and services stand out from others.
Basically it’s your brand and you don’t need to register it to call it your trademark HOWEVER if it’s not registered and someone else uses it, it is going to take you longer and cost you more to make them stop – if you can.
Business names or company names are not trademarks. They can be used the same BUT don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are protected because you have registered your company or business name. ONLY a trademark gives you ownership and the legal right to control use of the names.
Why do I need a trademark?
If you want customers to identify your business, your trademarks are as important to your success as sales, marketing, strategies and planning.
Like we said before, you don’t need to register your trademarks BUT unless you have the time and money to fight for your mark, it is much smarter (and cheaper) to apply for registration.
Registration will give you the exclusive right to use your mark in relation to your goods or services for ongoing, renewable 10 year periods. When you consider that intellectual property is a business asset that can quickly appreciate (unlike other depreciating assets), it makes sense to protect your mark now. The fees become almost insignificant when broken down over 10 years but who knows what your brand could be worth in that time?
Once registered, your mark is an asset which you can sell. You can also allow others to use the mark if you wish to expand your business, or franchise for example.Can’t I do it myself?
Sure you can – if you have the time and the confidence. In fact the trademarks office has made it very easy for you to lodge your application. The trouble is, filling in the form is the easy part.
It takes years of experience and a comprehensive knowledge of the relevant law to know how to deal with the examiners’ adverse reports and ultimately gain registration.
Without that, you could be tripped up at the first report and, not knowing how to deal with it, just let the application lapse. I have seen it happen. In trying to save a buck, they’ve let exclusivity slip through their fingers€ unnecessarily€ and totally wasted the application fees anyway!
If you do decide to give it a go, make sure that you are very confident that your searches have been thorough and that you are 100% happy with your selection from the 45 classes and with the description of your goods and services.
Not only to make sure you have a good likelihood of gaining a meaningful registration, but to make sure that you don’t inadvertently infringe someone else’s trademark. Once you have filed your application, it can’t be changed. If the mistakes are serious enough, you might have to consider lodging a whole new application.
How much money am I looking at?
We offer a free, no obligation 15 – 30 minute chat to help you to consider your options. Simply fill in the form below for an indication.
The whole process takes a minimum of 6 months but protection dates back to the time you lodged the application.
Is there another way?
Absolutely. As we’ve said, you don’t need to register your trademark, but if it’s not registered and you want to stop someone else from using it, as well as putting aside a whole lot of time and money, you should brush up on the requirements necessary to establish a passing off action under common law and the provisions of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974!
Or you can just enquire and go back to concentrating on what you do best: your business!