Trade Marks – What are they?
Trade Marks enable the owner to identify your product or service so they may become powerful and valuable business assets. They communicate the core value of your product or service. Trade mark protection is best obtained by way of registration. We are experts in the trade mark registration process. Are you considering bringing a unique product or service to market that requires some form of branding? A trade mark is a legally enforceable way to protect the following:
aspect of packaging
any combination of these that distinguishes your product from another.
A registered trade mark under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) gives you the exclusive legal right to use, license and sell your intellectual property asset in Australia. The owner of a trade mark can apply for its registration. The registration period initially lasts for 10 years and can be continued indefinitely providing that you pay renewal fees.
It’s important that you use your trade mark—other applicants can apply to have your trade mark deregistered if you haven’t used it for more than three years. The rule is use it or lose it.
However, registration of a business, company or domain name does not give you any proprietary rights to ownership of that name. If you require exclusive use of your business name, you should register it as a trade mark. For further information on domain names.
In Australia, there are 45 distinct classes. Registered trade marks are legally allowed to use ®. Although this is not necessary. ™ represents a common law trade mark which is not registered.
To be registered in Australia, a trade mark must;
– be distinct in its class, and not cause confusion among other marks;
– be non-descriptive and non-promotional, so “good shoes” cannot be registered; and
– avoid common usage words as the whole trade mark “generic words”;
– a trade mark allows the owner to exclude others from using the registered mark in the same class, which is why there is only one triangular shaped chocolate bar, e.g., Toberlone.
Different organisations and business’s can have the same mark in different classes, such as the “Lotus” trade mark name which is used by software, automobile and door companies in Australia.
For more information on Trade Marks and IP protection, contact Sweeny Legal IP and Commercial.
02 4228 1864 or 0417 699 645