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5 Top tips for protecting your Intellectual Property (IP)

2 min read
23 September 2021

Key Takeaways

  • Always check your proposed brand name and logo with IP Australia to ensure they aren’t already trademarked.
  • Keep your brand name unique but understandable. Don’t include locations or generic descriptions of any goods and services.
  • Register your mark with IP Australia. This lasts 10 years and can simply be renewed thereafter.

You either have spent, or plan to spend, a significant amount of time, money and energy on building a ‘brand’ for your business. But have you considered your trademarks?

When it comes to your branding you should always ‘look before you leap’.

Instead, we often see clients spend thousands of dollars designing a logo and brand that has already been trademarked by another entity, or is substantially similar to a prior registered mark.

This usually means significant wasted time and financial cost which can impact your business funding and plans, particularly when you are first getting your business off the ground.

For more information about what a trademark is, have a read of our earlier article here.

So, what should you consider when planning your brand name, logo and tagline?

  1. Do your research

IP Australia allows you to search its registers for free. So, take advantage of this resource and check your proposed brand name and logos before you send the creative brief off to your designers.

  1. There is a fine line between creative and indiscernible

When you are creating your brand name and logo, try to avoid going too far out of the box with the name. The key is to be unique without needing expertise in any given area to understand what it means or what it is about.

  1. Avoid locations and descriptions of goods and services

A trademark needs to be adapted to distinguish the owner’s goods and services in the marketplace, so geographical locations and simple generic descriptions of goods or services make obtaining a trademark difficult. For example, “Brisbane Lawyers” would be too broad and generic to allow registration with IP Australia.

  1. Colours can be important

A brand can be more important than just a name, the logo can be more powerful and, in some cases, distinctive colours can be an important part of this. For example, everyone knows the “golden arches”, so much to the point that they are instantly recognisable, completely independent of the name “McDonalds” or “Maccas”.

  1. Registration

You are going to invest a lot of time, money, and effort on your brand, make sure you take the time to register your mark with IP Australia for what is a relatively inexpensive fee. The registration lasts a relatively long time (10 years) and can be renewed simply by paying a renewal fee thereafter.

It is important that you take the steps to protect your brand and avoid going down the wrong path or ending up in a dispute over being able to use a brand that you have already built a presence with.

Please do not hesitate to contact Ben Ryan if you would like further information on this article or for any other assistance.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.

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