Mistakes that Could Work Against Your Trade Mark Application
The success of your business is almost entirely dependant on your brand, making it important that you protect it. When looking to protect your business’ intellectual property (IP) with a trade mark application, it can be easy to decide against seeking legal advice and opt for filing your trade mark application yourself. However, filing your trade mark application without the advice of a professional may increase the chances of there being a mistake in your application. While trade mark application rejections can be common, avoiding mistakes will save you both time and money. This article will take you through three mistakes that could work against your trade mark application.
1. Technical Mistakes
Technical errors are easy to make in your trade mark application. The initial application may seem simple enough. However, it can be very easy, especially for those lacking experience, to make simple errors that impact your application’s success. This can lead to the rejection of your trade mark. Some common technical errors include:
- filing under the incorrect name;
- choosing the wrong class of goods or services; and
- providing a poor or incorrect representation of your trade mark.
You can amend simple errors on your application. However, once you file your trade mark application, you will not be able to make any substantial amendments to it. Therefore, it is important that you get it right the first time.
2. Not Conducting a Proper Trade Mark Search
Conducting a thorough trade mark search is essential to the success of your trade mark application. Doing this early will help save you time and money. It will also help reduce IP Australia’s chance of rejecting your trade mark.
A trade mark search is a search of the relevant trade mark registers to ensure there are no identical or similar trade marks to your proposed trade mark. For example, you can conduct a trade mark search using the Australian Trade Marks Online Search System (ATMOSS) for trade mark applications in Australia.
If a trade mark similar or identical to yours already exists, your trade mark application will be rejected or opposed, making a trade mark search critical to the success of your trade mark application.
3. Failing to Respond to IP Australia
IP Australia is responsible for everything to do with trade marks registered in Australia. Your trade mark application will be filed and, if successful, registered with IP Australia. Because of this, failing to respond to IP Australia is an easy mistake to make that could work against your trade mark application.
If IP Australia has any issues with your application or requires further information, they will give you strict deadlines to respond. For example, if your trade mark does not meet IP Australia’s requirements, you will receive an adverse examination report, which you have 15 months to respond to. You must submit within this time frame or risk IP Australia considering your application abandoned.
Keeping track of deadlines is therefore essential to the success of your trade mark application.
Your brand is essential to the success of your business, making it crucial that you file your trade mark application correctly to make the application process as seamless as possible.
Some common mistakes that could work against your trade mark application include:
- making technical mistakes;
- not conducting a thorough trade mark search; and
- failing to respond to IP Australia within the required timeframes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Trade mark registration refers to formally protecting your trade mark on a trade mark register. With trade mark registration, you have enforcement rights over your trade mark, meaning you can take legal action against anyone who uses your trade mark without your permission.
Once you have registered your trade mark, you have exclusive rights to use and commercialise your trade mark. You also have the right to enforcement, which means you can take action to prevent others from using your trade mark. These rights are what make trade mark registration so important for businesses.
Without experience, it can be easy to make simple errors that work against your trade mark application. This includes making technical mistakes, failing to conduct a thorough trade mark application search, and failing to respond to IP Australia within the required time frames.