Trademark registration is an important step in setting up your business. A registered trademark would mean that your brand is protected from competitors and it helps in eliminating any unnecessary legal problem that may arise in future.
How Important Is Trademark Registration?
Your trademark can be an extremely valuable feature of your business. It enables you to protect your brand and to prevent anybody else from imitating it.
When you register your trademark, you get exclusive use of that trademark throughout Australia and it is protected for an initial period of 10 years. As a result, no other person can use your trademark without your permission. In case somebody violates it and uses your company’s name or logo, a legal procedure can be taken against them.
Why Should I Register My Trademark?
The following are the most important reasons why you should register your trademark:
- Legal Protection: Only registered owners can take legal action against damages caused due to trademark infringement. The protection is not given to unregistered business or entity.
- Unique Identity: It provides a unique identity to your products which will help the customers in identifying your products among similar goods and services.
- Goodwill: The trademark can be used to create trust and goodwill in the minds of the end users that your business is unique. Also, a registered trademark shows that you care about your company’s name and brand.
- Creation of Asset: Trademark registration creates an intellectual property (intangible asset). You can sell this right or give franchisees.
Is It Necessary To Register My Trademark?
It is not a legal requirement to register your trademark. If you are happy to accept the risks associated with not registering your trademark, then you may choose not to do it. However, a registered trademark protects any features that you use to identify your brand.
How Do I Register My Trademark?
The initial step that you should take before you register your trademark is to check your eligibility through IP Australia. Generally, to be eligible to create and register a trademark, you must:
- apply as an individual business owner and not under its business name
- be an individual, company, incorporated association or a combination of these
- use, or plan to use the trademark
The following are the steps to create your trademark after you have checked your eligibility:
- Decide if you have a trademark – Make sure you have familiarised yourself with the trademark basics;
- Provide a description of the goods and services you intend to use your trademark on;
- Do a thorough search using the Australian Trade Mark Search to make sure there are no similar trademarks already pending or registered;
- Proceed with your trademark application; and
wait for you application result (it usually takes three to four months before the result comes out). To check the status update you may refer to IP Australia’s trade marks response times.
If your trademark application gets accepted, it will be open for opposition for a period of two months. It there is no opposition during such time, your trademark will be registered.
If you get an adverse examination report, you have 15 months from the date of the report to overcome the issues raised and try to get your application accepted. This means you have 15 months to respond and have the examiner consider your responses.