Business competition can become incredibly fierce. Many companies sell the same thing but put minor twists in it to make it theirs. However, there is a difference between competition, innovation, and outright copying.
When you want to protect your clients and your company’s interest from copycats, you can turn to brand protection or the Australian Consumer Law.
Brand protection is the process that brand owners take to protect their intellectual property (IP) against counterfeits. The best way to safeguard your IP is to register it.
There are four types of IP: trademarks, designs, patents, and copyrights.
Anything that can be used to identify a brand is considered a trademark. This includes logos, images, slogans, catchphrases, shapes, sounds, numbers, or a combination of those. Some of the most recognisable trademarks are McDonald’s golden arches, Google’s colourful logo, and Nike’s checkmark.
Designs are concerned with how products look. They are significantly trickier to register since they need to present something truly unique to warrant an IP registration. Incorporating original artworks in shirts or pillowcases have a higher likelihood to get approval in terms of IP registration.
Patent registrations give the creators of devices, substances, methods, and processes exclusive rights to their creations. Others may use the creators’ innovation; however, the creator must be credited and compensated when their IP is used.
Copyrights protect creative expressions in computer games, music, photos, writing, and more. Copyrights give the creator the freedom to use and copy their work. But they may also grant licenses to people who wish to use them as long as the original creator is credited and they are appropriately compensated.
If another person, company, or entity uses your original work for their gain without your permission, then you have every right to pursue legal action. There are excellent intellectual property lawyers who can help you in that regard.
Australian Consumer Law
In the event that a counterfeit appears before your registration has been completed, what you can do is to prevent them from exploiting your reputation. You can do this through the Australian Consumer Law.
In most cases, counterfeits would want to copy the product, from the colour, structure, to the packaging design. This can confuse customers and may be considered as misleading and deceptive conduct—the things that Section 18 and 29 of the Australian Consumer Law in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (Australian Consumer Law) seeks to stop.
You may be tempted to let the counterfeiting incident go. However, that is not the best move for your business. What if the copycat sold products that caused people to get sick and hospitalised? Since the branding is associated with your company, this incident will damage your company’s reputation.
Although competition is inevitable in business, it does not mean that you should let a competitor copy your products and innovations. Through brand protection and the Australian Consumer Law, you can protect your consumers and your company’s interests from copycats and counterfeits. Stopping copycats is not just about revenue; it’s about ensuring that your customers are safe from potential harm and that the reputation that you have worked hard to build is not exploited.
When you need the best corporate lawyers in Queensland to safeguard your IP, GLG Legal is here for you. We are a reputable commercial and property law firm that provides intelligent, innovative, and effective legal solutions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!