Distinguish your goods or services from someone else’s
A trade mark is a way of identifying a unique product or service and it can be your most valuable marketing tool. Trademarks are your identity – the way you show your customers who you are. A trade mark can be a number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, an aspect of packaging or any combination of these. An example of a well-known trade mark is QANTAS and the flying kangaroo.
A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods and services from someone else’s and is enforceable under Intellectual Property law. For example, the Lonely Planet ® logo is a registered trade mark for travel guides. This protects the owner from other businesses using the Lonely Planet trade mark.
The initial trade mark registration is for ten years. You can continue to renew it for successive periods of ten years by paying a renewal fee as long as the trade mark is being actively used.
The benefits of trade mark registration include:
- Having the exclusive right to use your trade mark as a brand name for the goods or services specified in the registration.
- Having the exclusive right to authorise other people to use your trade mark for the goods or services specified in the registration.
- Having the right to sell your trade mark.
- Having a registration that usually covers the whole of the Commonwealth of Australia.
- Being in a stronger position to stop other people from using your trade mark as their brand name on the same or similar goods or services.
A trade mark can be registered through IP Australia. Professional advice from a solicitor specialising in trademarks is recommended.