5 Steps to Trade Mark an App Name
Consider you are developing an app that you hope to be the next big thing. In these circumstances, you might be wondering what you can do to protect the name of your app from being used by your competitors. One great way to do this is to register a trade mark for your app name. This will not only protect your app name, but will also help it stand out. This article will walk you through five key steps to register a trade mark for your app name.
1. Check the Requirements
Before applying for trade mark registration for your app name, you need to ensure that it meets the requirements set out in legislation. IP Australia will assess your trade mark against these requirements to assess its suitability.
Some important things you should look out for include checking that your app name is:
- unique to your business;
- does not merely describe your app; and
- is not similar to an existing trade mark on the Australian trade marks register.
2. Choose Your Classes
When applying to register a trade mark, you will also need to choose which classes of goods or services you will use for your trade mark. There are 45 trade mark classes, broken down into 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services.
You must choose the trade mark classes most relevant to you. This is because IP Australia will only protect your trade mark under the classes and goods and services you have chosen.
The classes most relevant to you will largely depend on the nature of your app. However, for most apps for phones, tablets and other such devices, you might wish to consider the following classes:
- 9 – downloadable software applications (apps); and
- 42 – provision of online non-downloadable software.
3. Conduct a Search
Before applying for trade mark registration for your app name, you should conduct a trade mark search. This will help you identify if there are any existing identical or similar trade marks to your proposed trade mark that may form an obstacle to your application.
IP Australia has a free trade mark search tool, ATMOSS, that you can use to perform a trade mark search for your app name.
Importantly, you should focus your search on existing trade marks that cover the same and similar classes of goods or services as your proposed trade mark. Trade mark classes allow similar trade marks to co-exist where consumers are unlikely to be confused about the origin of the trade mark. This is what makes the trade mark class selection process so important.
4. Submit an Application
Finally, you must apply with IP Australia to register your app name. This application requires you to provide certain information including:
- your proposed trade mark;
- the owner of the trade mark;
- the classes and a description of the goods and services you wish to protect under the trade mark; and
- payment of the application fee.
5. Monitor the Market
It is important to consider that once you have successfully registered your trade mark, you need to invest in long-term monitoring of your trade mark. This includes ensuring that no one infringes on your trade mark rights.
If you find that your trade mark is being used without your permission, you will need to take measures to prevent this unauthorised use, which has the potential to damage your brand reputation.
You may choose to monitor your trade mark manually through regular searches of other third party trade marks and online. Alternatively, you might choose to hire someone to do this for you or even invest in software that will monitor the market on your behalf.
To protect the name of your app, you should register a trade mark. There are some key steps you must take to do this, including:
- checking it meets the trade mark requirements;
- choosing your trade mark classes;
- conducting a trade mark search;
- submitting an application; and
- monitoring the market.
Registering a trade mark does not have to be difficult, especially if you have the right help. If you need help navigating the trade mark process for your app, our experienced trade mark lawyers can help. Get in touch with them on 1300 657 423 or by filling out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Trade marks are an excellent way to protect your app’s name, as it gives you exclusive rights to its use. Trade mark registration allows you to stop others from misusing your app name and help make your app recognisable to potential customers.
There are a few key steps to register your app name. This includes checking your app name meets the trade mark requirements, choosing your trade mark classes, conducting a trade mark search and submitting an application. Once your trade mark has been registered, you should continue to monitor the market for potential trade mark infringement.