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Written by : Keith Maraia
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hi everyone thanks for joining us today for legal visions trademarks 101 webinar my name is rebecca jones and i'm a registered trademark attorney and practice leader in the trademark team at legalvision my name is gracie chen and i'm a lawyer in legal visions ipt specializing in trademarks so our team works closely with a range of clients from startups to enterprises and assist with many aspects of ip and trademark protection including brand protection advice drafting and filing trademark applications in australia internationally responding to trademark objections and enforcing trademark rights in australia today we're going to take you through some trademark fundamentals we'll discuss the life cycle of a trademark some common pitfalls we'll also discuss some practical steps that you can take to protect sorry to protect and enforce your trademark rights we should have time for some questions at the end so please feel free to send these through as we go all right so we'll jump right in um and we'll start with looking at what actually is a trademark so a trademark of any sign that you use to distinguish your goods and services from those of other people and can be a word business name logo slogan color sound and even a smell the most common trademarks that a business will initially protect are the business name and logo and as your business grows however you might find that there are other aspects of your branding that form a large part um of your business and identity it should also be protected so an example of this is mcdonald's so they have the name mcdonald's registered as a trademark um the golden arches symbol and the slogan i'm loving it these are all separate trademarks that mcdonald's uses to represent their company and rent yeah mcdonald's is a great example to demonstrate the different trademarks that a single company can own and have a reputation in so another example of this is nike so this company owns separate trademarks for its business name nike it's tick or swish logo and the slogan just do it as gracie mentioned all sorts of signs can be registered as trademarks some examples of the more unique or non-traditional trademark registrations are cadbury's colored trademark for the colored people in relation to chocolate products and nokia's sound trademark for the well-known nokia ringtone as gracie noted the most common trademarks are a business or product name a logo or a slogan the other more non-traditional trademarks are relatively uncommon particularly set or smell trademarks in fact there are only two of these types of trademarks on the register in australia one being for the smell of eucalyptus applied to golf teas and the other being for the smell of cinnamon applied to furniture products so you might have seen the tm or r symbol used next to a trademark so the tm symbol is used when you want to claim rights in a trademark and can actually be used anytime before registration so if you're yet to apply to register your trademark or it's pending with irp australia you can use the symbol to show the public that you consider the mark as a trademark once citroen mark is officially registered and you've received a registration certificate from if you australia you can use the r symbol so displaying the r symbol can be important for putting competitors on notice of your registered rights in a trademark yeah as gracie mentioned the arsenal can only be used on trademarks once they have been registered and some people don't realize that it's actually an offence under the trademarks act to use the r symbol on an unregistered trademark so it's definitely worthwhile to know the difference now a common area of confusion for businesses is the difference between business name registrations and a trademark say you're establishing your business you've incorporated your company you've registered your business name with ethic and you've secured the top level domains for your name people are often surprised to learn that taking all of these steps doesn't necessarily mean you will be able to use your trademark the business name registration helps you to comply with essex requirements but it does not give you any separate rights in the name as a trademark although your trademark and your business name registration will often match a business name registration and a trademark registration are two entirely different things it's not compulsory to register your trademark although it is certainly best practice to obtain trademark registration and there are a number of important benefits and protection flowing from registration which gracie will discuss in a moment i also just wanted to mention that aside from trademark registrations there are also unregistered trademark rights that can exist so trademark rights can begin accruing from the moment you first adopt and use the trademark in relation to your goods or services so if you if you have commenced use before registering your trademark you actually might have started accruing rights in the trademark as you built up your reputation in the name as mentioned it's still best practice to register your trademark yeah that's a really good point um and as a couple benefits of trademark registration a registered trademark maximizes your brand protection and affords you with a number of rights both legal and non-legal first and foremost having a registered trademark provides you with an exclusive legal right to use that trademark in connection with the goods and services it's registered for so as rebecca mentioned having a business name registration doesn't provide this right so this means that you would have the power to commence action against anyone who is using the same or a similar trademark to you in connection with similar goods and services competitors are less likely to copy or misuse the trademark that's registered and without trademark registration it might be more difficult to stop those parties from copying your friend trademark registration also creates a financial asset that you can license and sell to third parties so you should ensure that you have registered rights to a trademark first before giving someone else permission to use that trademark so this would be relevant if you franchise your business for example to ensure that you have maximum control over how your franchisees will use your trademarks and branding on a similar note you shouldn't be selling a trademark to someone else without having trademark registration in place this is particularly relevant should you ever want to sell your business and it's something that a purchaser will want to know before buying business trademark registration is also important for attracting investment for your business in fact most investors will want to know if you have trademark protection for your brand because it increases your brand's credibility and reduces the risks of disputes with competitors so this means that investors can invest in your business with a greater sense of security and finally registering your trademark will significantly increase your businesses professional image and reputation being able to promote your tradem
Thanks for your comment Jodi Cosenza, have a nice day.
- Keith Maraia, Staff Member
trademarks are a great way to protect your brand they're an important piece of intellectual property which help to distinguish your products goods and services from your competitors trademarks can include things like logos taglines or brand names however not everything is capable of being protected errors or delays in your application can be costly it's important to make sure you file your trademark as soon as possible to avoid a similar trademark being registered first you can do searches to see registered and unregistered marks in australia they can help to identify marks which may be identical or similar to yours you may need to amend your trademark if there is a confusingly similar one in the same category as yours after you determine whether you have a trademark that you want to protect and you have conducted a thorough search you can apply for registration in one or more classes that relate to the goods and services you provide there are two ways by completing a pre-filing assessment or completing a full application with a pre-filing assessment ip australia's trademark examiners will contact you within five working days of the application to advise whether your full trademark application has a good chance of being successful with a full application ip australia will contact you with a notice of acceptance or an examination report while the application is pending you can legally use the trademark symbol once you receive the certificate you can legally use the registered trademark symbol you'll need to renew your trademark every 10 years if you have any questions about registering a trademark get in touch with legalvision
Thanks mediamisfitH your participation is very much appreciated
- Keith Maraia
About the author
I've studied archival science at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas and I am an expert in ergonomics (outline). I usually feel determined. My previous job was radio & tv announcer I held this position for 23 years, I love talking about trade fair visiting and cycling. Huge fan of Bill Cosby I practice hockey and collect military items.
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