5 Tips for Registering a Trade Mark for Your Textile Manufacturing Business
As an owner of a textile manufacturing business, you should probably look into protecting your brand. Your business name is your trade brand. It distinguishes your products and services from those of your competitors. Trade marks primarily allow consumers to identify the origin of products or services, but they also increase goodwill and serve as quality assurance. Trade marks are closely connected to brand value and brand recognition. Unique trade marks can create valuable and effective brands, allowing customers to quickly recognise the provided products or services and assign them a level of quality or attractiveness. Many things can form a trade mark, including a phrase, symbol, slogan, form, sound, colour, or even fragrance, as long as it distinguishes a company’s goods or services from competitors. This article will explore some of the key considerations to think about before you register a trade mark for your textile manufacturing business.
1. Choose the Right Trade Mark
Given the potential importance of a trade mark to a company, choosing the correct one is critical. The advantages of choosing the appropriate trade mark for a company are limitless, as your trade mark will define your brand. On the other hand, choosing and then using an incorrect trade mark can be a significant headache for your company. Therefore, if you want your textile goods brand to succeed, select a memorable trade mark. Additionally, ensure you select a trade mark that follows all of the trade mark rules. Your business may also be subject to legal action for trade mark infringement if you select an infringing trade mark, which might result in damages.
In addition, you should make sure you apply for the correct trade mark class. This is the specific category of goods and services under which your mark will be registered. Although you can register your trade mark in different classes over time, you will need to submit a new application each time, which can be a costly process. Therefore, you should do your best to get it right the first time to avoid unnecessary expenses.
2. Remember Key Trade Mark Principles
There are two important rules to remember:
- A trade mark must be distinguishable. Your business’ goods or services should not be the only focus of the mark. Avoid using names of individuals or locations, as well as terms that are complimentary or descriptive. For example, ‘The Best Textiles’ is unlikely to be accepted, as other companies may need to use this in the course of their business; and
- A trademark must be unique. It should not resemble or be identical to any trade mark used by other textile businesses.
When choosing a trade mark, you should try to choose one that your business alone can use. This will mean that no other company will be able to profit from the trade mark’s established reputation. In addition, the more unique a trade mark is, the easier it will be to defend it. The best trade marks are unique and have no meaning in connection to the goods or services for which the business will use them. This means that for your textile business, avoid using common terms in the textile industry to form your trade mark, and instead select something unique.
3. Ensure You Use Your Trade Mark
Keeping your trade mark from being removed from the Trade Marks Register due to non-use is an important part of the trade mark process. In Australia, a third party may file a non-use removal application if:
- your trade mark has been registered for five years or more; and
- you have not used it in Australia for a continuous period of three years and one month.
After filing a non-use removal application, the trade mark owner must show that the trade mark was used in Australia throughout the non-use period in connection to the products or services. Defending against non-use removal proceedings can be expensive.
4. Decide Early if You Want to Sell Internationally
Australia is a signatory to several international trade mark agreements. For instance, the Madrid protocol effectively creates a single application that allows you to register in over 70 countries worldwide. If you plan to trade abroad, you may want to familiarise yourself with the Madrid protocol process.
When using the Madrid protocol, remember that every country has its unique set of trade mark regulations. Laws abroad may not be directly equivalent, although they often have similar concepts. Therefore, you should consider whether your business plans to trade abroad. However, if you want to use its trade mark in other countries, you must first protect it in Australia.
5. Remember the General Process
In Australia, the registration procedure is as follows:
- submitting an application;
- application examination;
- application acceptance;
- registration; and
- renewal every ten years.
The sooner a company can register a trade mark, the easier it will be to build a strong brand around that mark.
Before applying, have the business’ current or anticipated use evaluated. This helps you ensure that your company’s trade mark is protected.
Before deciding to register a trade mark for your textile manufacturing business, you should consider the branding you want to display in your business. Ensure that your trade mark is unique in the textile business, and decide whether you want your business to expand internationally. If you have any questions about registering a trade mark for your textile manufacturing business, contact our experienced trade mark lawyers on 1300 657 423 or fill out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
A textile business falls under trade mark class 27.
Above all, ensure your trade mark is distinctive. Choose something that sets yourself apart from other textile businesses.