A cape representing a trademark, symbolizing its protective quality

What's in a Trade Mark, and Why Should Your Business Care?

By James Wan

Let’s talk about trade marks. Think of a trade mark as your business’s superhero cape. It’s a form of intellectual property that makes your business stand out from the crowd, a sort of ‘bat signal’ that tells the world who you are. It could be your business name, brand name, logo or even a unique phrase or colour.

Now imagine if someone stole your superhero cape and wore it themselves. Not cool, right? Well, that’s where registering your trade mark comes in. It’s like a protective shield, keeping the baddies from nabbing your cape and parading around as you.

But don’t confuse registering a trade mark with registering a business name. They’re different. You might’ve registered your business name, but another business can still pop up with a similar name.

So, Why Trade Mark?

It’s All Yours

Register a trade mark, and you’ve got the monopoly on it. It’s yours across all Australian states for at least ten years, and you can renew that as many times as you want.

You’re the Boss

It gives you the power to let others use your trade mark. It’s like lending your superhero cape to trusted allies, handy when drawing up agreements with partners or contractors.

Your Brand’s Worth More

Your trade mark can be bought, sold, or transferred. It’s a valuable asset, a piece of prime real estate that can bump up the worth of your business.

Above all, a trade mark is your brand’s bodyguard, a legal muscle that flexes to stop others from using your trade mark on similar goods and services.

Before You Dive In

Before you give your business that superhero cape, you want to ensure no one else is already wearing it. IP Australia’s TM Checker tool lets you do just that. It helps you determine if your chosen trade mark is up for grabs or if someone beats you to it.

And remember, like any journey, the road to registering a trade mark has its pitfalls. So, do your homework and learn more about the process by visiting IP Australia. There are common mistakes to avoid and important questions to ask yourself along the way. Good luck!