Marketing your products or services is one of the most important things you’ll do as a business owner. Further, the tools you use to develop your brand can become as valuable as your business itself. One great way you can legally protect your brand is to register trademarks for your brand assets. In this article, we’ll discuss all the benefits of registering your trademark – and doing it early on.
1. It will bring value to your business
As a business owner you want to stand out from your competitors. If you are intending to commercially market your product or services you will need a trademark. A trademark will protect the unique parts of your business, such as your name, logo and slogan.
You may be wondering how a trademark brings value. Just think about McDonalds and the golden arches they use. This symbol is instantly recognised by consumers worldwide. The value of a brand runs into the billions – so legally protecting it is always in your best interests. Once your trademark is registered, you’ll be able to add the ® symbol to your name and logo.
2. You’ll have national protection
Any features that distinguish your products or services from your competitors can be registered as a trademark. With a registered trademark, these features will be protected throughout Australia. Having a registered trademark in Australia can also be beneficial for any future international applications. If you intend to expand your brand internationally, these applications will be simpler and less time-consuming.
3. Rights to use, sell, and licence your trademark
As a trademark owner you have a range of exclusive rights over your trademark and can control your brand. Through registration, you have the right to commercially use your trademark. This is valuable when executing marketing strategies to increase brand recognition and grow your business. You can also capitalise on the positive reputation of your brand by selling your trademark to others.
When marketing and distributing your products, third parties such as manufacturers, distributors and franchisees will handle your brand. You’ll be able to ensure your brand is protected by licencing your trademark.
4. Protection from unauthorised use
Only a trademark can provide proprietary protection for your brand and prevent any unauthorised use by others in Australia. Competitors and other businesses may take advantage of your reputation and use your brand or elements of your logo, brand design and image for their own products. This can confuse and mislead your customers into thinking that the products or services they are purchasing are your own.
Without a registered trademark, protecting your brand from this unauthorised use can be an expensive and ineffective use of your resources. As a trademark owner you have the right to initiate proceedings against competitors and other businesses that are infringing your trademark.
5. Prevent competitors from registering a similar trademark
The earlier you register your trademark, the better protected you will be. Under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) , a competitor or any other business, cannot register any trademark that is identical or similar to a registered trademark. If you don’t register, you’ll have little to no legal rights if another businesses infringes your intellectual property. Registering your trademark will also confirm that the same (or similar) trademark doesn’t already exist.
Trademarks offer legal protection to those parts of your business which although not physical, are highly valuable. Further, protecting your intellectual property early on will allow you to grow and develop your business and build a brand your customers will love. If you have further questions about protecting your brand, it may be worth getting in touch with a lawyer.