Article prepared by: Brown Ward King, Lawyers
The health care professions and related industries continue to grow, notwithstanding difficult economic trading times, and competition is strong. Your business may have the highest quality products or services anywhere in Australia or internationally, however without effective marketing it can prove difficult to acquire new clients and consequentially grow your business.
An integral part of marketing is creating a brand for your business that clients can identify your products and services with. However, once you have created a great brand, it can be vulnerable to imitation or plagiarism. This is where trade marks come in.
A trade mark is anything that represents your business including a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or a combination of these. Registering a trade mark should be a priority for your branded business as it will protect your brand and enable success in the long run. It is important to secure a trade mark early on to protect the brand position of your business and to circumvent financial loss in the future.
Benefits of a trade mark
A trade mark is your identity and can be your most valuable marketing tool. It allows you to show your customers who you are whilst ensuring the goodwill generated as a result of your substantial investment in marketing can be protected. Registering your trade mark will allow you to monetise on this goodwill and help build your brand. The more successful your business, the more valuable your trade mark will become. Registering a trade mark will also help to ensure that you maintain control over the quality of the goods or services associated with your trade mark and any marketing materials produced.
By registering your trade mark you will attain exclusive rights to use that trade mark in relation to the goods or services and in the countries with regard to which it is registered. As the owner of the trade mark you will also have a right to seek relief for any infringement of it. This is important in protecting your business from another person using your, or a similar, trade mark to imitate your products or services. Additionally, a trade mark can exist forever with a need only for periodic renewal ensuring a useful return on your investment.
Dangers of not registering your trade mark
Not registering a trade mark could leave your business open to legal action from businesses which have registered one that is the same or similar to yours. If this occurs, you may be faced with legal action preventing you from using your trade mark. This may lead you to having to create new brands, new campaigns, website material and to a larger extent your brand identity.
Registering your trade mark
While it may seem simple enough, the registration process can prove complicated and any mistakes or changes you may need to make after you submit your application can cost you a lot of unnecessary time and money. We recommend that you consult with a solicitor who has IP experience or a trade mark attorney to assist in ensuring the success of your application with as little hassle as possible.
The above information is general in nature and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. We recommend that you consult with a solicitor or trade mark attorney in relation to your particular needs and requirements in relation to registration of trade marks.
About Brown Ward King
Brown Ward King is a boutique commercial law firm focussed on providing quality legal solutions to business issues or problems. We will tailor the advice you seek and services you need depending on how best to help you achieve your business goals and ambitions. We seek always to combine technical excellence with pragmatism, commerciality and business acumen, premised on what we regard as being key to our firm: our relationships with our clients and referrers.
Contact: Robin King, Principal
Phone: +61 (0)404 635 174