Your name and brands are the backbone of your business. It’s how people identify you and your product or service, and how they find you when they want to come back. It’s therefore important that your trade marks are properly protected.
There are many benefits to having your trade mark(s) registered, the main ones being that:
a registered trade mark gives you the rights to stop a competitor from using a name or brand that’s too close to your registration, and allows you to take action to prevent a similar trade mark being registered. You may still be able to take these steps with an unregistered trade mark, but it is a much more expensive and time-consuming exercise.
a registered trade mark is a valuable business asset which can be sold, transferred or licensed, so it is particularly important to register your brands should you ever want to sell or franchise your business, or license the rights to use the brand.
There are three important steps to take when you have your brand. The first is to check that it’s not too close to anyone else’s registered trade mark – clear it! If the brand is available for you to use and register, you should register it – protect it! Once you have it registered, tell us if you come across someone use a trade mark that you think is too close to yours and we can let you know what you can do – defend it!
When you’ve come up with a new brand name, you should check to see whether it is available for you to use and protect. If someone else already has a trade mark that is too close, they could stop you from using it and you may not be able to register it. We can conduct trade mark clearance searches and advise on whether your proposed brand is available for you to use and register. We can also let you know whether your brand is able to be registered. You should check whether your trade mark is available for you to use and register in all of the countries where you intend to operate or sell your products, and we can help you with this.
Once you’ve determined that your brand is available, you should file an application to register it. We can advise on the best filing strategy, and draft and file trade mark applications to ensure that all aspects of your brands are protected in your key markets.
It is important to keep an eye on your market to make sure your competitors aren't using a name that you think it too close to yours and which might be confusing customers. If you come across someone using a trade mark that is the same or similar to yours – tell us and we can let you know what you can do.