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In 2018, an estimated 10 million trade mark applications were filed worldwide.
This number has been increasing over the years and might leave you wondering about the advantages of having a registered trade mark. However, before we have a look into the benefits of having one, it is important to understand the true nature of a trade mark itself.
So, let’s have a look at the definition of a trade mark in Australia.
What Is a Trade Mark?
Section 17 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) defines a trade mark as “a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person
A trade mark refers to something that makes your brand or product distinctive from others. In the legal sense of the word, it also provides your brand with protection against potential imitators under intellectual property laws. Trade mark registration is essential if you want your business, brand, product or service to stand out from the crowd, and Registering a trademark in Australia is vital if you want to protect your intellectual property assets and secure your rights.
However, while most people limit their definitions of a trade mark to a mere logo, the legal definition includes a variety of other distinctive features. A trade mark can include:
- Fonts and words
- Packaging styles
- A combination of these & more
- In certain cases, smells, scents, movement, shape, sounds and colours have been identified as trade marks, e.g. Cadbury Purple. The definition can be wide, depending on the interpretation. A trade mark is not secured by registering a company name, or a business name.
· The Advantages of Getting a Trade Mark Registered
- The purposes of registering a trade mark can be multiple. However, whatever your reasons, here are four major advantages that come with it.
· 1. Brand Control and Marketing
- If you’re in the process of marketing your products, you can benefit greatly from getting a registered trade mark for your brand or product. It also allows you to add the ® symbol next to your marketing copy. This adds a whole new layer of sophistication to your product.
- Keep in mind that using the symbol, without authentic registration is against the law.
· 2. Legal Protection
- Perhaps, the biggest reason for registering a trade mark is the legal protection that comes with it. While using another person’s trade mark (whether registered or otherwise) is generally against Australian and international intellectual propertylaw, a registered trade mark can help you make a much stronger case against the offence of passing off.
- Using another person’s trade mark (whether it is registered or not) as your own is against the law. Known as ‘passing off’, it is an offence under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Under certain circumstances, even unregistered trade marks can have some value under common law and other state based fair trading legislation.
- In a nutshell, a registered trade mark is significantly easier to protect than an unregistered mark.
· 3. Credibility
- A registered trade mark is an unspoken way of implying that you, as a brand or artist believe in your product. The ® symbol always comes with an added implication of credibility, accountability and reliability.
· 4. Distinctiveness
- Along with credibility, it also helps you as a brand, stand out from your competitors. It allows for the further enhancement of your product or service’s uniqueness.
· Getting Registered in Australia
- Registering your company and trade mark are both essential to getting your business started. However, the process can be difficult to navigate.
- That’s where we come in!
- The term of trade mark registration in Australia is 10 years, which may be extended for additional periods of 10 years.Failure to use a registered trade mark for a period of three years or more may expose the registration to removal from the register on the grounds of non-use.
- If you have questions or need more information regarding company or trade mark registration. Please fill out this short form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!