TradeMarks

Follow the Signs

TradeMarks (often interchangeably called brands) are the marketing interface of your business.  TradeMarks are a means of identifying a unique product or service and are therefore a very valuable marketing tool and business asset.  Some say brands assist consumers in their selection of goods and services.  Others say brands actually drive consumer selection of goods and services.  Whatever your school of thought, we consider that brands well and truly make the world go round.

The value is reflected in some of the stratospheric brand valuations of leading goods or services.  Indeed, brand may be the most valuable asset of a business.

TradeMarks, Business names, Company names are not the same, with TradeMarks being the only registration conferring proprietary rights in a name.  We can help you navigate this tricky interface to ensure you devote your resources to registering the most appropriate name.

A TradeMark is simply a “sign” and by definition can comprise a word, a logo, a signature, one or more letters or numbers or any combination of these.  Additional forms of registrable trade marks include scents, colours, sounds, aspects of packaging and the shape of a product.

Registration

The process usually commences with an application in Australia.  Provided a foreign application is filed within six months of the Australian application a TradeMark owner can claim convention priority from the Australian application to enjoy the Australian filing (priority) date.

Australian TradeMark applications undergo a comprehensive examination to consider issues such as formalities, distinctiveness and conflict with prior trade marks.  We are very experienced in prosecuting TradeMark applications to registration and navigating that path with IP Australia and other TradeMark owners.

If protected and managed properly there is no limit to the length of time for which a TradeMark registration can be renewed.  This critical business asset can potentially last forever.

Commercialisation

Once registered, a TradeMark registration confers the owner with exclusive rights to commercially use it, license or sell it.

Even moderate or indeed reluctant consumers are aware just how much brands are extended, licensed and used in many contexts.  As we are IP lawyers as well as attorneys we are well experienced in growing your brand through lucrative commercial areas such as licensing, distribution, franchising and manufacturing agreements.

Enforcement

Due to the instant recognition and resultant sales that a well-known trade mark can generate, it is very tempting, particularly in an online world, to use this branding or something close to it.  There is an array of causes of action to prevent this kind of misappropriation and your position will certainly be improved if you have a trade mark registration covering the various elements which make up your brand.

As lawyers we are very experienced in asserting and enforcing an array of TradeMark and related rights through the courts and via online gatekeepers such as Google, eBay, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

TradeMarks For more information on TradeMarks see  TradeMarks – an Overview

 

Industry Specialisation:

Gestalt TradeMark Services:

  • Strategic advice on whether registered trade mark protection is possible, appropriate and / or desirable
  • Strategic assessment of your brand architecture / portfolio
  • Searches
  • Registration of TradeMark applications in Australia and foreign markets
  • Assessment of infringement and validity of registered TradeMarks
  • Removal of prior TradeMark registrations
  • Registered Trade Mark infringement proceedings including enforcement and defence (including causes of action for passing off and under the Australian Consumer Law)
  • Negotiation of co-existence agreements
  • Commercialisation of TradeMarks.