How To Register a Trade Mark
If you’re looking to open a new business, it’s essential that you consider how you establish your brand image. An important component of this is trade marking your brand.
Trade Marking is the process of protecting the wording, symbols or designs associated with your business. Trade marks act as a tool to differentiate you from competitors and enable customers to recognise you. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand the steps you need to take to legally protect your business identity and protect the uniqueness of your brand.
Does a registered business name protect my name?
Most people do not realise that a company or business name registered with ASIC does not protect your brand. It is only by registering your brand as a trade mark that you can be certain it cannot be used by anyone else.
How do I Register a Trade Mark?
Before registering a trade mark, it is important to ascertain whether it has already been registered. Both registered trade marks and applications for registration can be found on the IP Australia website. By conducting this preliminary investigation our lawyers will determine if your proposed trade mark is available to be registered.
How long does it take to register a Trade Mark?
If your trade mark is available and an application is lodged, the application will be reviewed by IP Australia within 3 months. If the application is accepted, then it is advertised by IP Australia. Once advertised there is a 2-month objection period where other parties may object to registration if they believe your trade mark is similar or infringes their IP rights.
How Much Does it Cost to Trade Mark?
IP Australia charges a lodging fee of $250 per category to apply to register a trade mark. In addition, there are legal fees for reviewing assessing and completing the application. Those fees are typically $800.
How Does a Trade Mark Differ from Copyright?
While both are forms of intellectual property, the main difference between trade mark and copyright is that while trade marks protect the identifiers of a brand including names, logos and slogans, copyright protects original work such as written material e.g., a unique sales brochure, images, or music. In Australia, copyright is an automatic process that comes in to effect on creation of the work. You do not need to actually apply for copyright protection. Trademarking however requires you to officially register.
How Long Does a Trade Mark Last?
From the date you file your trade mark, it will be registered for 10 years. You may apply to renew your trade mark 12 months before renewal is due, or up to 6 months after.
Can I Register My Trade Mark in Other Countries?
While registering your trade mark in Australia doesn’t automatically protect your IP in other countries, certain mechanisms exist that enable you to do so. The Madrid Protocol particularly allows members of certain countries to file a single trade mark application and have this application assessed in multiple member countries at a time. Currently, 135 countries are members of the Madrid Protocol. It is however important to note that local laws in other countries or existing similar trade marks may impact the success of your application. Lodging a Madrid application does incur a separate fee for each nominated country however, this cost is significantly reduced compared to filing a separate trade mark application in each country.
We can prepare a Madrid Application on a quoted fixed fee basis.
Registering a trade mark is not only about protecting your IP it will also increase the value of your business.
In most cases trade mark registration is not only a straightforward process it is also inexpensive. At Lord Commercial Lawyers, our team of trade mark lawyers can manage the entire registration of your trade mark. We have the expertise and knowledge to help you understand the process and achieve the best outcome for you and your brand. Enquire today on (03) 9600 0162 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you register your trade mark.
Lord Commercial Lawyers is a commercial and business-focused law firm based in the Melbourne CBD. We work with businesses and individuals to help them achieve their legal and commercial goals.