If you have successfully registered a Trade Mark, you need to maximise its benefits! Here are some of our tips to assist you with making the best out your registered Trade Mark.
Use your Trade Mark – Trade Mark registration can be subject to removal if you do not use the Trade Mark for a continuous period of 3 years.
Make others aware that the Trade Mark is registered – You can do this by using or displaying a ® symbol next to your Trade Mark.
Be aware of your Competitors – While you have a Trade Mark registration, your competitors may use marks similar to yours – it will be your responsibility to be aware of what your Competitors are up to.
Protect your Trade Mark – A registered Trade Mark is an exclusive right to use the Trade Mark in Australia for the goods and services the Trade Mark is registered in. If a Competitor infringes on your registered Trade Mark, you must be prepared to take action to protect those rights.
Renew your Trade Mark– Trade Mark registration lasts for 10 years and you must be aware of the renewal dates or risk your Trade Mark registration expiring!
If you run a small businesses, you should carry out adequate due diligence before starting trade. One of the matters that you should check before starting trade is the name of your business or the name of your brand.
If you sell items or products under a brand name, you should also check if the name of your brand is similar to or would conflict with other products on the market. A thorough search of trade marks, brand names and business names should be carried out before settling on a name for your business or product.
You should also be mindful that a registered business name is not the same as a Trade Mark.
There is nothing worse than settling on a business or brand name and embarking on an extensive marketing project, only to receive a letter from a competitor saying that your business or brand name is similar to theirs. Failure to do the proper checks and searches may result in an expensive re-branding exercise.
If, after carrying out a careful search on trade marks and business names, you find that there are no similar sounding trade marks or business names, you should consider if the additional benefits of registering your business name or brand name as a trade mark.
Registering your business name or brand name as a trade mark can protect you from other people claiming that your mark is identical or similar to theirs. In addition to this, you may be able to stop others from using your registered trade mark.
It is always best to “look before you leap”, especially when it comes to these matters.