Why Is Trade Mark Registration So Important?
A trade mark is a valuable asset for any business to have. In such a competitive market, the benefits of a trade mark cannot be overlooked. However, it can be very confusing to determine what constitutes a trade mark and whether it is worth registering your trade mark. This article will take you through some background about trade marks to help you better understand them and will explain why trade mark registration is so important.
What is a Trade Mark?
A trade mark is just one of a few types of intellectual property protection. A trade mark refers to protection over your brand assets. These assets may include your business:
- logo; or
- any combination of the above.
The variety of options for a trade mark makes having a trade mark an excellent marketing tool that distinguishes your brand from all of your competitor businesses. This can help you stand out, increase your sales and further your brand reputation.
In addition to the consumer benefits of a trade mark, trade marks serve as legal protection against other businesses. These wide-reaching benefits of trade mark protection make it important to consider all your registration options.
What Is Trade Mark Registration?
Trade mark registration refers to the formal process of adding your trade mark to the trade mark register. Each country has their own trade mark registration process. In Australia, trade marks are applied for and registered with Australia’s IP office, IP Australia. Your registered trade mark will be available for public viewing, which provides many benefits in deterring others from using your trade mark without your consent.
Do I Have to Register a Trade Mark?
While it is not essential to register a trade mark and you may still have certain rights without official registration, there are a number of benefits to registering a trade mark.
The key purpose of a trade mark is to give you exclusive rights to the use of your trade mark. One of these rights includes the right to prevent others from using your trade mark without your consent. If your trade mark is registered, the process of demonstrating your exclusive rights is much easier.
Importance of Trade Mark Registration
Trade mark registration is an important process. There are several reasons why this is so, including the fact that having a registered trade mark makes it easier to:
1. Prove Your Rights Over a Trade Mark
If you discover that someone is infringing on your trade mark, you will easily be able to demonstrate your rights over the trade mark. By having your registration certificate, you can prove your ownership without needing any other evidence. On the other hand, if your trade mark is not registered and you suspect your trade mark is being infringed upon, establishing your rights will be a much longer process. For example, you would need to show evidence of ongoing use of your trade mark.
2. Deter Others From Using Your Trade Mark
By having your trade mark available for public viewing on the trade mark register, other businesses will be aware that your trade mark is already being used. This is particularly pertinent for new businesses applying for a trade mark, who will likely conduct a trade mark search as part of the trade mark application process.
3. Commercialise Your Trade Mark
Having a registered trade mark is the first step in commercialising your trade mark, such as through establishing licensing agreements with other businesses. This is one way that you can profit off your trade mark and increase the value of your business’ assets.
While having your trade mark registered is not a legal requirement, the benefits of trade mark registration cannot be overlooked. Trade mark registration is so important because it means you can:
- enforce your trade mark rights more easily;
- deter others from using your trade mark; and
- commercialise your trade mark, such as through licensing agreements.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not a legal requirement to register your trade mark. Your mark will have some rights even without registration. However, there are a number of advantages to obtaining registration. For example, it makes it easier to demonstrate your exclusive rights to your trade mark.
The benefits are wide-reaching. Some of these benefits include that trade mark registration makes it easier to enforce your trade mark rights, deter others from using your trade mark and commercialise your trade mark (such as through licensing agreements).