5 Effective Ways Startups Can Legally Protect Their Brand

Branding is a tricky concept to define. When branding is brought up, are people referring to your product, idea, or trademark utilised to differentiate your company’s goods and services?

Branding is multifaceted, no matter how you slice it, and you should take precautions to safeguard your startup business. Although you cannot wholly eradicate competitors or copycats, you must handle them in a prudent manner that safeguards your company’s intellectual property. This distinguishes you from competitors, raises brand recognition and fosters a consistent identity and sense of belonging for your workers, clients and third-party stakeholders.

No matter how big or small your company is, there are three major areas you should focus on to preserve your brand. It would help if you did the following:

  • Protect your brand from possibly infringing on the intellectual property of others.
  • Enable your business to enforce your intellectual property.
  • Avoid financial and reputational damages to your brand.

So, what precautions can you take to safeguard your brand? We’ve included five below to provide you with the knowledge you need to expand your business sustainably.

1. Apply For a Trademark

Although it is easy to ignore the importance of registering your trademark, it is vital to guarantee that your firm has the exclusive right to use your trademark name for the goods and services you provide. Once IP Australia has registered your trademark, you will be able to assert your rights and prevent others, including competitors or copycats, from using or infringing on your pictures or tag lines.

2. Monitor Your IP

Many people believe that after securing their trademark and registering with IP Australia, they can sit back and relax. However, it is critical to maintain and control your trademark. To avoid spending hours and days scanning the internet, put up a Google alert for your trademark. Once you’ve found potentially infringing behaviour, you may want to consult with an intellectual property lawyer about drafting a cease and desist letter.

3. Ensure Your Content is Compliant

Check that the material on your website and the product packaging is Australian Consumer Law (ACL) compliant. Companies in Australia are not permitted to engage in misleading or deceptive activity or that has the potential to mislead or deceive consumers or other businesses. This is true even if your purpose is not to mislead or deceive. For example, you cannot claim that your product is ‘organic’ if it is not or just partially organic. If you are detected violating the ACL, you will face severe penalties.

4. Keep an Eye on Your Web Content

The web material posted on your website is automatically protected by copyright. It’s critical to keep an eye on your competition. If you see someone else exploiting your photographs, material or stealing your design, you should contact a lawyer to submit a take-down notice.

5. Think Globally

Obtaining trademark protection for your brand and company in Australia is a fantastic start, but you should also protect yourself in other countries across the world. Laws vary per country, and even if international growth isn’t on your radar right now, it’s a bright idea to prepare ahead to ensure your ability to develop in the future.

Conclusion

So, what’s the point of it all? Startup brand protection can get complicated.

You must understand how brand protection techniques like trademarks may protect you and your organisation, as well as what it may and may not cover.

If in doubt, seek competent legal counsel. This will help you choose the best course of action for you and your company.

Are you looking for a law firm in Brisbane to help you with your intellectual property concerns? GLG Legal regularly advises on intellectual property issues, including copyright, designs, trademarks and patent law. The first step is understanding your intellectual property; the next is to ensure that it is protected. Many businesses fail to recognise the value of their intellectual property. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your startup business succeed!

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