So, you've got your business up and running, socials sorted, and business name registered. Awesome job!
But now, let's talk about protecting your genius (aka brand name) and keeping it exclusively yours in the wild world of intellectual property.
Do I Actually Need A Trade Mark?
While it's not mandatory to register a trade mark before using your brand name, there are a few issues you might face if you don't.
Picture this: Your biz is called “Squidgy Widgy”, a graphic design company with a funky difference. But now a fantastic graphic designer out there has also named their biz "Squidgy Widgy", with similar vibes but slightly different brand colors. Too close for comfort, right?
Or imagine: You’ve come up with a great squiggly logo for your brand. Then, a graphic designer accuses you of having a suspiciously similar logo and targeting the same audience (squiggle-enthusiasts in their mid-twenties). They're itching to take legal action. Yikes!
Luckily, trade marks are here to save the day. They grant you exclusive rights to use and protect your brand elements, ensuring that no one else can ride on your success or imitate your brilliance. Trade marks act like a legal force field, shielding your intellectual property from unauthorized use or misuse.
Need some examples to drive the point home? Think of iconic trade marks like the bitten apple of Apple Inc., the swoosh of Nike, or the golden arches of McDonald's. These symbols have become synonymous with their brands, all thanks to the power of trade marks.
When Should I Get A Trade Mark?
These disputes suck, big time. Without a registered trade mark, you need to prove you’ve been operating for several years and build up goodwill in your name. That way you have the juicy evidence to back you up, so the powers that be know you’re not an idea-sucking demon.
So let's talk timing. When should you trade mark your brand name? It depends on factors like your product or service launch timeline, public awareness, and competition. If you're gearing up for a product launch, it's best to trade mark as early as possible to secure your brand name before anyone else grabs it.
And if you're already promoting your brand and gaining attention, trade marks prevent others from using a similar name. Even if you don't have immediate plans to launch, trade marks are still crucial for protecting your brand and ensuring you have legal rights to it.
Oh, and here's a pro tip: trade marks must be renewed every 10 years to stay valid, so keep an eye on that. Trade marks can be a bit pricey, so consider the cost before diving in. But hey, the peace of mind you'll get knowing your brand is protected and recognized? Totally worth it.
Do I Just Need A Trade Mark To Protect My Intellectual Property?
Remember, trade marks are just one piece of the intellectual property protection puzzle. Don't forget to explore other forms of intellectual property protection, like copyrights and patents. Also, keep in mind that trade mark laws can vary from country to country, so familiarise yourself with the relevant regulations.
Navigating trade marks can be tricky, so if you have questions or need guidance, it's always a good idea to consult an experienced IP lawyer. You can even dip your toe into our blog, How to Register a Trade Mark in Australia, for simple easy to follow steps.
With trade marks and other forms of intellectual property protection in your arsenal, your brand will be safe and secure. And hey, being proactive is way cheaper than being reactive, right? Might we also throw into that big ol’ arsenal a few tips in a recent blog about how to build a brand that’s uncopyable? Read on for 4 hot antidotes to copycats!
At Foundd, we're all about taking the proactive route. So hop on that exciting intellectual property train and protect your brand!
***Disclaimer. Please read!!***
This article is for general information purposes only and should be used solely as general guidance. It does not and is not intended to represent legal advice or other professional advice.
All rights reserved. © Foundd Legal Pty Ltd