5 Tips to Register a Trade Mark for Your Brand
For businesses hoping to stand out amongst their competitors, having a distinct brand is an essential component of their business. As your business grows and the market becomes more competitive, registering a trade mark for your brand will become an essential element to the success of your business. This article will take you through five tips to effectively register a trade mark for your brand.
1. Consider Your Options
The first part of registering a trade mark for your brand is choosing your trade mark. Trade marks can take many forms, with the most suitable ones for your business depending on your unique circumstances. Some forms a trade mark can take include a:
- packaging shape;
- scent; or
- any combination of the above.
With so many options to chose from, selecting the most important trade marks for your brand can be overwhelming. However, registering a trade mark for your business name and logo is a great place to start.
2. Be Distinctive
Your trade mark must be distinctive to be registered, so feel free to get as creative as possible! To ensure that your trade mark is distinctive, you will need to check that it is not identical or deceptively similar to an existing trade mark. You can do this by conducting a trademark search using IP Australia’s trade mark search tool ATMOSS. This search tool is free and is a great way to ensure that your trade mark is available before you apply to register a trade mark for your brand.
3. Register Your Trade Mark
When building your brand, you should consider registering your trade mark. While it is possible to build up a reputation over time without needing trade mark registration, having a registered trade mark is an excellent way to give your brand an added layer of protection. This is because trade mark registration gives you streamlined access to responding to trade mark infringement – instead of needing to prove your rights to your trade mark, you can merely provide your registration as evidence.
In Australia, you can apply for trade marks through IP Australia. Your application will require you to pay the application fee and submit details of your trade mark and your business. IP Australia will then assess your trade mark to ensure it meets all the legal requirements. If IP Australia has no concerns, they will place your trade mark on the trade mark register.
4. Be Diligent
Once your trade mark has been registered, and your brand has become more established, you will need to be diligent about monitoring the market. This includes regularly checking the trade mark of competitors businesses and ensuring no one is attempting to copy your brand.
As a trade mark holder, you will be able to oppose trade mark applications to be on the register if you have concerns that new trade marks will infringe on your trade mark. Additionally, if you see similar businesses using elements of your brand without your consent, you will be able to dispute their trade mark use. Trade mark registration gives you a number of rights, so you must enforce these rights to protect your brand.
5. Be Conscious of Brand Growth
When registering a trade mark for your brand, you must keep in mind that your business will hopefully grow over time. Because of this, it is unlikely that trade mark registration will be a one-off occurrence. Instead, you will likely have to file new applications or reconsider your trade marks as you introduce new products or services to your business’ offerings. In addition, your brand is likely to change over time as well, so it may be necessary to consider new trade mark applications if your current trade marks cease to be relevant.
Trade mark registration should be at the forefront of your mind when building your business’ brand. Some tips to trade mark your brand include:
- considering all the options available for your trade mark;
- ensuring your trade mark is distinctive;
- registering your trade mark;
- being diligent with monitoring your trade mark; and
- being conscious that your brand is likely to expand.
If you need help with registering a trade mark for your brand or have questions about intellectual property more generally, our experienced trade mark lawyers can help. You can contact them on 1300 657 423 or by filling out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
A trade mark is a form of intellectual property protection that distinguishes your goods or services from other businesses. Trade marks are an essential asset of your business, forming a significant component of your business’ intellectual property and, therefore, your business’s value.
There are several ways you can enforce your trade mark rights, with the method you take differing depending on the individual circumstances of your business (such as time and financial restraints). Some ways you can enforce your trade mark rights include sending a cease and desist letter, making a formal opposition to an infringing trade mark, or taking the matter to court.