The longer you are in the business, the more value can be assigned to your trademark and intellectual property. You also accumulate more trademark and intellectual property assets over time. You may have started on your business journey with only a name, slogan, and logo, but eventually, service names and your products become distinctly recognizable as part of your brand by customers and the marketplace.
The additional assets should be added to your list of trademarks and registered with IP Australia. It’s even recommended that you conduct an assets audit annually to check if any new projects or product developments have created new resources to protect.
Remember that anything associated with your brand comes with an expectation from customers that the trademarks they identify with your brand represent certain levels of quality and professionalism. This makes your brand identifiers a precious asset.
An experienced trademark professional, such as a trademark attorney, can help you navigate the lengthy and complicated process of trademark registration. They will also be able to advise you if your trademark is unique enough to register in the first place. You don’t want to waste your time and money lodging an application only to discover that you never stood a chance of being awarded one as your ‘trademark’ didn’t meet the criteria it needed.
You can make sure your rights are secured nationally
Consider this. Your business is popular and very well known in Victoria. However, the name, nor the logo or other assets are trademarked. You won’t be protected from a company with similar marks from using them even if it’s clear to you that they are copying your service or product. Some competitors will try to take advantage of the confusion that arises with customers by using similar marks to leverage the goodwill they have with yours.
But worse than this, you leave yourself vulnerable to another company registering similar, or even identical, trademarks to their related products or services. They have the right to apply for registration using the same business name as yours, simply because they were the first to do so.
When you apply for trademark registration, you prevent competitors from registering similar marks, and you will be awarded the exclusive right to use your mark in Australia. If anyone attempts to register anything similar your details will be flagged on the database. If they use your mark, you can take appropriate action.
You can licence other parties to use your products or content
When you own a registered mark, you can license other companies to use your mark for identical products and services. This will enable you to expand the reach of your company and therefore increase profits. You’ll need to register your trademark, however, or you open the doors for others you have not approved to use your mark too.
If you want greater control of your brand, and create new opportunities for it, this is the way to do it. Every company’s vision grows with time, and you need to set yourself up with all the legal protection from the get go.
Secure the reputation of your brand or product
When you register a unique trademark, other businesses cannot use similar marks. Your mark has an intrinsic value: it can come to represent the high quality of goods or services you offer customers. By registering your trademark, you also safeguard your brand if you want to sell it or leave it to a member of your family.
Prevent brand confusion
A registered mark means that other companies in Australia cannot use it or copy it to confuse customers into thinking they are associated with your product or brand. When you own the registration mark, the law against infringement is clear, and it will be a simple process to prevent them from doing so.
Infringing parties can have harsh penalties inflicted on them, so it is a strong deterrent to both copycats and counterfeiters. Remember to show your trademark registration when you promote your products and services.
You protect yourself from infringement cases
When you apply for trademark registration, you will be made aware of any risks you run of infringing on the rights of others. It can be a confusing process to determine if companies that offer similar products and services have pending or existing registrations.
A trademark attorney will identify if you run the risk of infringement, but will also assist you if competitors lodge an application against yours when you have registered. If action is taken against you, you will need to hire an attorney to help you file a response, so it makes sense to avoid this situation in the first place.