Moving Light Moving Light

Resources What is a trade mark and why do I need one?

  • Posted by Insight by Ian Tindale
  • Published Current as at 31 January 2023
  • Category Insights

A trade mark is a sign that distinguishes the goods or services of one trader from those of another. Trade marks are most commonly business names or logos, but they may also be other words or phrases, labels, tickets, aspects of packaging, shapes, colours, sounds or scents.

Trade marks are an important tool as they protect the brand identity of a business or individual, helping to prevent confusion among consumers and ensuring that others can easily identify the source of a good or service.

Six benefits of registering a trade mark are:
  1. Exclusive rights: Registered trade marks give the owner the exclusive right to use the mark in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered. This means that another business is unable to use a deceptively similar name in relation to the same or similar products.
  2. Legal protection: A registered trade mark can be used to take legal action against anyone who uses the mark without permission, or who uses a mark that is too similar to the registered trade mark.
  3. Valuable asset: A registered trade mark can be a valuable asset for a business as it can be licensed or sold, providing an additional source of revenue or greater valuation in a business sale.
  4. Enhanced reputation: A registered trade mark can help to enhance the reputation of a business, as it indicates that the business takes its branding seriously and has invested in protecting its intellectual property. It also secures the brand’s reputation from copycat businesses.
  5. Easy to enforce: It is easier to enforce a registered trade mark than an unregistered trade mark.
  6. National and international protection: A registered trade mark can provide protection not only in Australia but also internationally if an application is filed through the Madrid protocol. The Madrid Protocol allows owners to register trade marks in multiple countries through a single application process.

Once a trade mark is registered in Australia it is valid for an initial 10 years, and can be renewed indefinitely.

Trade mark registration is an important form of intellectual property protection that can help to protect your business and build its value. By registering a trade mark, you can secure exclusive rights to use the trade mark, deter infringement and create a valuable asset for your business. Contact us to discuss the protection of your brand.