Trademark registration – how to protect your brand

The best way to protect your brand is with a trademark registration. A trademark registration can cover your business name, logo, or even a slogan.

With a registered trademark, you will have exclusive rights to those names and images, and the right to use them for the services your business offers.

Before applying for a trademark, you need to make sure your idea is new to Australia and hasn’t already been registered. You can do this by going to: https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au 

You can search by word, phrase, image, owner, and goods and services. It’s important to cover all bases and search beyond exact matches for your idea. Some tips for searches include:

  • Try different spellings for example, “easy” could be “ezy” or “eezy”
  • Search various forms of the word, for example “bark” and “barking”
  • Be descriptive – “eucalyptus tree” not just “tree”
  • Check the goods and services – if you find a similar trademark listed under different goods and services you may still be able to register it.

Having a registered trademark in Australia does not prevent competitors in other countries from registering a similar idea, or even an identical trademark. 

Trademark registration largely takes place on a country-by-country basis, and if you’re looking to sell overseas, it might be a good idea to get an international trademark registration.

The first step is to search https://branddb.wipo.int to see if your idea or brand is already on the list.

You may want to focus your business in just one other country apart from Australia, in which case you can apply for a trademark in that particular country only.

However, think about where you might like to expand in a few years’ time. The easiest way to protect your brand overseas is to apply for a trademark through the Madrid Protocol.

The Madrid Protocol allows trademark applicants to register international trademarks and is managed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). 

Applicants can file a single application and apply for protection in up to 126 countries (as of 2022). They can then renew and expand the reach of their trademark protection through a centralised system.

Not all countries are signatories to the Madrid Protocol, so you cannot use this system everywhere, but it’s a simple first step on the road to expanding your business internationally.

Ensuring your business name, brand, and logo are protected is an important aspect of your financial security. It’s best to speak to the experts who can help make sure every detail is correct.

Here at GLG Legal, we can help you with trademark and IP registration. Contact our office by calling (07) 3161 9555 today.

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