The definition of a ‘Trade Mark’
A trade mark is a sign used on a good or service that distinguishes it from other goods and services. It can also be used to show that the good or service originates from or is associated with the owner or seller of the goods or services.
A trade mark can be a word, phrase, letter, number, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, or a combination of any of these elements. The law considers trade marks to be a form of intellectual property and it should be treated as such.
Registration of Trade Marks
Trade marks can be registered with an Australian government agency (www.ipaustralia.gov.au), and a registered trade mark gives you the legal right to use, license, or sell it within Australia for the goods and services for which it is registered.
A trade mark does not necessarily need to be registered – some of the most well known trade marks are not registered purely on the basis that they are so recognisable and well-connected to the owner of the trade mark.
Accordingly, if you have an unregistered trade mark this does not stop you from bringing action against someone who has infringed on your trade mark – however if your trade mark is not very well known, this may make your case an expensive exercise.
Why register a Trade Mark?
A registered trade mark offers substantially increased protection than a common law trade mark. Proof of registration is good evidence towards ownership of the trade mark. A registered trade mark not only allows you to stop others from using your own trade mark, but also it protects others from challenging your trade mark.
As trade marks are considered proprietary, you should consider it to be an intangible asset that adds value to your business. It can be added to your asset base, and it can be sold, licensed, assigned, and even used as security.
Business, Company, or Domain Names
Registered business, company, or domain names are very important in establishing your identity or brand name, however they do not afford the same level of protection as a trade mark. In fact, a registered trade mark may prevail over any protection given by the registration of a business, company, or domain name.
If you have a brand, logo, name, or even a tune that you use to market your goods or services, you should consider the benefits of registering your trade mark.
Trade Mark Enquiry
For more information on our trade mark services and quotes on our professional fees, please contact us or visit our quoting page. Our experienced trade mark lawyers will contact you to explore how we can improve your business and add to your balance sheet by realising the value in your intellectual property through trade mark registration.
Trade Mark Lawyer
Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal, an incorporated legal practice based in Parramatta CBD providing professional legal services in trade mark advice, representation and trade mark registration to businesses across Sydney and Australia.