We wholeheartedly recommend that if you are looking to protect your brand, you should register your brand as a trade mark. We have previously written on this subject, but overall, the registration of your brand as a trade mark gives you a period of ten years of which you have exclusive use of the registered trade mark within Australia for the classes the trade mark was registered in.
That being said however we’ve been made aware of some businesses who provide unsolicited trade mark services to other businesses under misleading or deceptive circumstances. Some of these services suggest or propose that your trade mark is registered in a particular registry which is not recognised in either Australia or in the country that the registry is based in. Some of these services demand payment or a fee of some sort in relation to your trade mark.
You need to ensure that you’re getting the right protection from the right authority. The only authority that is recognised in Australia for the registration of trade marks is IP Australia. Any correspondence from an unfamiliar organisation should be treated with caution. IP Australia also has a list of organisations who are known for sending out unsolicited IP services.
This issue not limited to trade marks either – we’ve received reports that this behaviour is also common to domain names, patents, and designs.
While the majority of Australian businesses providing trade mark services are reputable, it still pays off to be cautious when receiving correspondence or responding to invoices in relation to your trade mark.
If you’ve received some correspondence from an unfamiliar organisation demanding payment or trying to tell you to register your trade mark with an unfamiliar registry, give us a call, and we can quickly help you determine whether they are legitimate or not.