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Protect your brand with a registered trade mark

Protect your brand with a registered trade mark

A registered trade mark is a powerful business asset that distinguishes your brand from competitors, builds customer trust and provides you with important legal protection.

Research by IP Australia shows that small businesses with a registered trade mark are 13% more likely to achieve high turnover growth. For businesses launching new products, each additional registered trademark was shown to be linked to an 8% revenue increase per employee.

What is a trade mark?

A trade mark is a type of intellectual property protection that safeguards your brand and distinguishes your products and services from those of another business. It gives you a legal avenue to defend your trade mark against copycats, and those who might try to pass off their business as yours.

A trade mark can take many forms, it could be a business name, your business logo, a brand name, a distinctive word or phrase, or even a sound or colour.

Benefits of a registered trade mark

By registering your trade mark, you gain exclusive rights to use that trade mark in Australia and legal protection to stop others from using your trade mark on similar goods or services.

You can also sell your trade mark or license it for others to use, which can be a powerful tool when you create agreements with producers, distributors, sellers or contractors.

You also gain legal rights to place the ® symbol next to your trade mark.

Three tips to protect your brand:

If you are looking to start a new business or launch a new product or service, here are some top tips to safeguard your brand and drive long-term success.

  1. Use IP Australia’s free TM Checker tool early in your business journey to check if a trade mark is available, and before you incur too many costs in developing your brand. The easy-to-use tool can help you:
    1. search for existing trade marks that may be similar to yours, that may cause conflict, such as a business name, phrase or logo.
    2. check your trade mark meets the requirements for registration.
  2. Register your trade mark to get exclusive rights in Australia for an initial 10 year period (this can be renewed indefinitely). You can apply for registration using TM Checker from as little as $330. An IP Australia examiner will then check it meets requirements including:
    1. not being too generic, using descriptive words that are relevant to a range of businesses
    2. not being offensive
    3. being in the correct class of good or service.
  3. Monitor your brand’s online presence and track mentions so you can identify who might be using your registered trade mark without you knowing.

Get an introduction to intellectual property (IP) during Small Business Week

Register for IP Australia’s online information session during Small Business Week and get information on the different types of intellectual property, how they work to protect your brand and add value to your small business.

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