Starting a new business is both an exciting and overwhelming process. As a new business owner, you’ve got many elements to set up, decisions to make and people to hire. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of pressing things to take care of and leave other things aside.
One thing that many business owners often leave for later – or overlook entirely – is taking the necessary measures to protect their intellectual property.
Some elements of your business, such as your business name, logo, slogan or a particular product, need to be trademarked as a way of preventing others from misusing them and diluting your brand identity.
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably already thinking about taking the necessary steps towards registering trademarks in Australia. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of logo trademark registration and help you get your business on the path to legal protection.
What Is a Trademark?
A trade mark is a symbol, word or phrase that identifies and distinguishes specific elements of your business – such as your slogan, logo, business name, goods or services – from those of your competitors and other businesses. Your trade mark is there to protect your logo from the evil forces of copycats and scammers.
In Australia, trademark protection starts with registering your logo with IP Australia (short for Australian Intellectual Property Office).
But navigating the world of trademark registration can feel like walking into a labyrinth. To make it out on the other side unscathed and make sure your logo is fully protected, you need to choose the right classification and type of IP Australia trademark application.
Benefits of a Registered Trademark
The main advantage of trademark registration is that it gives you exclusive use over the thing you trademarked, which means no one can steal your thunder. Once you register your trade mark in Australia, you have the power to prevent others from using the trademarked element.
Aside from ensuring adequate protection of your intellectual property and helping you protect your business from legal issues, trademarking can also help you increase your brand reputation. A trademarked logo means you’re taking things seriously.
Plus, it helps to make sure that it’ll be unique in the industry throughout the country – at least for the duration of the trade mark. The initial period of trademark protection in Australia is 10 years. That’s more than enough time to get your logo ingrained in the minds of your customers!
Risks of Not Registering a Trade Mark
Not registering a trade mark carries more risks than you’re probably aware of. It’s not just about brand protection.
It’s about making sure that you get exclusive rights to use your intellectual property in a way you see fit and that no one can steal your customers by pretending that their logo, product or service is yours.
Here are some risks of not trademarking your logo that you may not be aware of:
– It may lead to scammers and copycats stealing your logo. And if they do, it’ll immediately hinder the credibility of your brand identity. It’ll confuse your customers to mistake your copycat for you.
– It may lead to legal battles with other businesses that claim that you copied their logo.
– Worst case scenario? It may put you out of business altogether while your imitators run off into the sunset with your hard-earned customers.
How to Trade Mark a Logo with IP Australia
When you think of trademarking your logo, you might picture a long and complicated process. If so, you’ll be glad to know that the trademark application process in Australia is actually pretty straightforward, as long as you adhere to the trademark registration guidelines.
Here’s how to register your trade mark with the Australian Intellectual Property Office (IP Australia) in a few steps:
Check the availability of your logo trademark
Before filing anything with IP Australia, you need to make sure that the trade mark you want to register is available. You do check existing trademarks via IP Australia’s TM Checker. You’ll only be able to register your trade mark if no one else has registered it before.
Choose your trade mark application type
Before you start the process, you must choose the type of application that’s best suited for your trade mark. You can choose between the pre-application service (best if you’re registering your trade mark for the first time) and the standard application (best for those who have done it before and don’t need assistance).
Go through the registration process
To register your new trade mark with IP Australia, you’ll need to provide evidence of your ownership and some key documents, like your contact details and a representation of your trade mark (in this case, your logo).
Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, you’re ready to begin your trade mark application. You’ll have to go through 3 steps: choosing your trade mark, selecting goods or services (classification types), and filing your application after paying the initial fee.
Trade Mark Registration Fee & Timeline in Australia
At this point, you might be wondering how much it costs to register a trade mark in Australia. The good news is that the costs aren’t elevated. You can get a registered trade mark from $250 for the standard application and $330 for the pre-application service.
As for the duration of the process, it takes around 3-4 months for IP Australia to verify your trade mark after you file your application. This is roughly what this process looks like:
Choose the Trademark Experts at Creato™
And there you have it! Trademark registration in Australia may seem like a complex process, but with the right guidance and expertise, you can easily navigate through it.
It’s not as scary as it may seem at the beginning – you just need to make sure that fully understand the process and the requirements before you begin the application to have your logo trademarked.
Creato can be your guide to getting your logo trademarked in Australian states. Our trade mark experts have helped countless Australian businesses with their trademark applications, and we can help you too!
Get in touch with us today and take the first step towards getting full legal rights to your logo.