3 Trade Mark Challenges Facing Businesses
Your business’ intellectual property (IP) is one of its most valuable assets. With your brand being critical to the success of your business, you should protect it properly. This includes trade mark protection, which can be done by lodging an application for trade mark registration. Trade mark registration refers to formally protecting your trade mark, giving you exclusive rights to use your trade mark. It also grants you rights to prevent others from using it for their own benefit. While having trade mark protection is a valuable aspect of your business, obtaining a registration has a number of challenges. This article will take you through three of the top trade mark challenges currently facing Australian businesses.
1. Increased Competition
As the world becomes more globalised, the need to enforce your trade mark outside of your home country has increased. Your business may operate overseas or you might be considering selling your goods or service to an international market. In that case, it is worth considering obtaining international trade mark registration.
International trade mark registration has many benefits, including helping you enter new markets and expand your business. However, there is a greater chance that somebody else has registered your trade mark in an overseas country. This goes both ways – as more countries expand their businesses to Australia, the number of registered trade marks increases. This can make it more difficult to prove your trade mark is not identical to or similar to an already existing trade mark.
2. Delays in Processing Times
The delays in trade mark processing times can be a challenge for Australian businesses. Australian trade mark applications take around four months from the date of submission, after which there are a number of steps in the process towards finalising your trade mark registration. For example, if you receive an adverse examination report or a trade mark opposition, this can delay the process by months, making the entire process occasionally last several years.
However, it is important to note that delays will not change the date from which any rights granted take effect. You receive trade mark rights from the date of filing. Despite this, delays can be time-consuming and costly, both of which are inconvenient to your business.
3. Keeping Track of Infringements
Registering your trade mark is just the first step in the trade mark process. After registration, you will need to monitor your trade mark to identify and oppose similar or identical trade marks to your own. While IP Australia’s trade mark register will keep track of new trade mark applications, it is your responsibility to monitor for trade marks and take action to enforce your rights over your trade mark.
Over time, monitoring new trade marks has become increasingly more difficult. The rise of the internet has contributed to this. Accordingly, it is much easier to steal someone’s trade mark and more difficult to enforce your trade mark rights. It can be difficult to monitor every business that is infringing on your trade mark. However, you must stay vigilant so that you can take legal action where necessary to protect your brand and reputation.
Protecting your business’ IP is a milestone in the life of your business, adding extra value to your business and protecting your business’ brand from being ‘stolen’ by competitors. However, there are a number of trade mark challenges facing Australian businesses, including:
- a rise in the amount of competition;
- delays in processing times; and
- increased difficulty of keeping track of trade mark infringements.
For help navigating these challenges or general trade mark legal assistance, 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 mark registration refers to the process of formally protecting your trade mark on a trade mark register. There are many benefits to trade mark registration, including the exclusive rights to use your trade mark and prevent others from using it.
After registering your trade mark, you will have exclusive rights to use and profit from your trade mark. These exclusive rights also include the right to enforcement, which means you can take action to stop others from ‘copying’ your trade mark without your consent.
While there are many benefits to trade mark registration, there are a number of challenges that come with trade mark registration. This includes difficulties with increased trade mark competition, delays in processing times, and the increased difficulty of keeping track of trade mark infringements.