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Trademark FAQ

These are brief and generalised answers to frequently asked questions about trademarks.

Please contact us directly if you need advice on a specific matter.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is the brand you use to identify your products or services. It can take any form: words, symbols, logos, designs etc.

Is any brand or logo registrable as a trademark?

Some categories of words and images may be difficult or impossible to register as a trademark. An expert trademark attorney can research to predict whether your proposed trademark or brand is registrable.

I have already registered my Business Name / Company Name – so why do I need a Trademark Registration?

A Business Name or Company Name Registration is a legal requirement in Australia if you are trading under a name other than your own personal name.

However, it is purely and simply a Government requirement, and is not a means for you to obtain any monopoly or rights in your business/company name.

To put yourself in the best possible position to stop competitors from copying your name/brand, you need to go that further step and register it as a trademark.

What is the difference between a registered trademark and an unregistered trademark?

A registered trademark has been approved and entered on the Trademarks Register of the Trade Marks Office.

An unregistered trademark (one that you are using, but have not as yet registered) may still be recognised as your property, depending on the circumstances - but the situation is far less certain and secure. A trademark attorney can investigate whether unregistered trademarks exist.

Why should I register my trademark?

Unless you actually register your trademark, there is a very real risk that a competitor can copy it and build up rights in the trademark. The competitor  might even register it themselves, leading to very real problems for your business.

Registering your trademark is the best way to get brand security, and also makes it far easier to stop others from copying your trademark.

Why use a trademark attorney?

Trademarks may be portrayed as being simple. However, this is a trap, as there can be many hidden pitfalls, which can be avoided by using a trained and experienced professional like ourselves.

We can:

  • Research your proposed name(s)/logo(s) to minimise expensive conflicts and litigation with existing trademark rights.
  • Acquire broad legal rights that protect your business adequately and stop others from exploiting loopholes or inadequacies.
  • Update you when the laws change, to provide advice or to re-file trademark applications, as required to ensure protection of your rights.
  • Assist you in dealing with infringements/copycats.

How much does it cost to register a trademark in Australia?

Ballpark figures (inclusive of Government fees, our services and GST) are as follows:

 

How long does an Australian trademark registration last?

In most cases, it can last for as long as you want – you just need to pay renewals every 10 years.

How do I get a Worldwide Trademark Registration?

Unfortunately, there is no international system which will provide a single registration of your trademark throughout the world.

We can advise you on appropriate strategies to protect your trademark in overseas markets.

Will the Trade Marks Office ensure that my trademark is not infringed?

No - the Trade Marks Office does not act as an enforcement agency.

You are responsible for keeping a lookout for anyone copying your brand and for taking legal action.

We assist our clients in finding copycats.

TAKE ME TO THE FORMS

We let you know how things are going, and what you should be doing next.

Over the 7-9 month course of the trademark registration process, we will contact you at least 3 times (at no extra cost) to let you know how things are going, and what you should be doing next. We monitor your application's progress with the Trade Marks Office to ensure critical deadlines are met, and that your application does not lapse. We represent you before the Trade Marks Office on issues which may arise, and advise you of the best option.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a form of intellectual property, typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design or image, or a combination of any of these elements. Trademarks distinguish your products or services from those of competitors.