What is a trademark?
A trademark is the face of a business. It directs customers back to the source of the quality of the goods or services. A successful trademark comes to embody the quality of the goods or services provided by the business, building brand loyalty and reputation. To stand out from the crowd you need a strong and distinctive trademark and so, how to trademark your brand? You need a trademark application professionally prepared by an Australian trademark attorney or lawyer, such as one of our trademark attorneys in Sydney or Melbourne.
How to trademark?
A trademark may be word, logo, picture, product shape, colour or any other aspect of branding that differentiates your products or services from those of your competitors. A good trademark:
- Distinguishes your products or services in the marketplace; and
- Conveys the marketing message you want your clients or customers to hear.
Branding strategy considers both what conveys your message in the marketplace together with what is able to distinguish your brand from others in the marketplace.
Trademarks cannot attempt to take the language that other traders might want to use legitimately to describe a quality or characteristic of their own goods or services. Therefore, great trademarks either include:
- Totally original words, images or combinations; or
- Words or images or combinations of words
and images, that have:
- some element of distinctiveness,
- create an emotion or an illusionary effect
which bring the goods/services to life, or
- are unusual.
Our trademark attorneys, based in Sydney and Melbourne, are able to advise you on how to trademark such that your proposed trademark is likely to be able to distinguish your brand from others in the marketplace.
Why is it important to register a trademark?
Registering a trademark makes it easier for you to stop other businesses copying your trademark because the owner of a trademark has a title to ownership which brings certain exclusive rights. In addition, a title means that the registered owner has an asset that can be licensed or sold.
Without a registered trademark, your only protection against a trademark infringement lies in common law torts (e.g passing off) and Section 18 of the Competition & Consumer Act 2010. Thus, it is more difficult to cost-effectively prosecute a trademark infringement without a registered trademark.
A common misunderstanding is that a business name or company name provides some form of protection, however these are mere listings and do not provide any means for enforcement.
Why do I need a trademark attorney?
Since trademarks are so often a valuable corporate asset and because there are many pitfalls to be avoided in the trademark application process, trademark applications should always be professionally prepared. Before adopting a new trademark, searches can be conducted to check the availability of the trademark for use and registration. This helps reduce the risk of infringement of a prior trademark registration, and the likelihood of objection during examination. Our trademark attorney firm combines extensive business experience with a thorough approach to preparing trademark applications to help clients protect their branding in Australia and internationally.
Our Sydney and Melbourne based trademark attorneys can also provide advice on how to trademark internationally. This could, for instance, include a consideration of overseas trademark availability or whether branding and trademark strategies match or align are likely to be appropriate in other countries.