4 Reasons SMEs Should Invest in Trade Mark Protection
Small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) make up about 99.8% of all businesses in Australia and contribute to more than 55% of the total GDP. With SMEs making up such a large portion of the Australian market, it is important that your SME stands out amongst the rest. A trade mark is one way that you can distinguish your business from your competitors. A registered trade mark gives you exclusive rights over your brand asset, which can help facilitate the success of your business. If you have an SME, you may be wondering if you should invest in trade mark protection. To help you better understand its benefits, this article will take you through five reasons SMEs should invest in trade mark protection.
1. Commercialise Your Trade Mark
One key benefit of trade marks is the ability to commercialise them. One such way is to use your trade mark registration to license your trade marks. As the licensor of a trade mark, you can maintain control over your assets while making a profit from them. You can do this by granting licensing agreements to licensees, who pay for the use of your trade marks over time. These agreements usually stipulate certain terms and conditions for use.
Trade mark licenses are particularly pertinent for franchises, whose business model is founded upon licensing agreements. Trade mark licenses provide an avenue to enter new markets without giving up your intellectual property assets.
2. Encourage Funding
Having trade mark protection is an excellent way to draw in prospective investors. A robust portfolio of trade marks can help demonstrate to investors that you take your business and its growth and longevity seriously. In turn, this can encourage investors to fund your business. Additionally, the risk for investors is lower because trade mark registration means you reduce the risk of being involved in trade mark infringement disputes. Having trade marks also increases the value of your business, which can, in turn, make it easier to secure alternative funding such as bank loans.
3. Develop Your Reputation
From a marketing perspective, your brand is the most important element of your business. Your branding strategy is how consumers remember your business and aids them in making purchasing decisions. From the Nike tick to the Apple logo, branding is everything. By registering trade marks for your business assets, you can stand out from your competitors. A consistent, distinctive brand helps potential consumers become familiar with your business’s goods and services.
Further, the importance of your brand makes it critical that you protect it to avoid any poor associations with its name. As well as serving as a way for consumers to remember you, a trade mark makes it much easier to prevent trade mark infringement, therefore protecting your brand from being tarnished.
4. Avoid Legal Disputes
You can use trade marks to avoid legal disputes. In registering your trade mark, you must undergo a trade mark search process. This will identify if you are infringing on someone else’s trade marks. By ensuring that your trade mark is available in the early stages of your business, you can avoid long-term issues.
Further, a registered trade mark gives you the ability to enforce your trade mark rights over anyone infringing on your trade mark. Suppose somone is someone is copying your brand, either intentionally or not. In this case, you will have several avenues to stop this and be compensated.
SMEs make up a huge portion of Australian businesses, making it essential that you find a way to stay ahead of your competitors. As an SME, some of the reasons you should invest in trade mark protection include to:
- commercialise your trade mark;
- encourage funding;
- develop your reputation; and
- avoid legal disputes.
Frequently Asked Questions
A trade mark is one type of intellectual property (IP) that gives you enforcement rights over your brand’s assets. A trade mark acts as legal protection, giving you exclusive rights to your trade mark. There are also a number of marketing benefits to a trade mark, including helping you distinguish your brand and increase the reputation of your trade mark.
Registering a trade mark has a wide range of long-lasting benefits. In a competitive market, there are many benefits to trade mark protection that you should not overlook. For SMEs, this includes providing the ability to commercialise your trade mark, encourage funding, reduce competition and avoid legal disputes.