Trade marks and the internet – do you need to register your trade mark outside of Australia?
It goes without saying that the internet has completely changed the way in which businesses engage with both existing and potential customers. Markets that were not feasible to operate in even 10 years ago are now easily accessible to many businesses.
The explosion of online sales and marketing activities has created a number of new intellectual property issues for business. Where previously most businesses need not have worried about registering trade marks outside of Australia, in the internet age the registration of trade marks outside of Australia is now an important matter for many businesses.
In practical terms, a business should seek to register its important marks in all countries in which it intends to market its goods and/or services. Recent decisions of Courts both in Australia and overseas show that the mere presence of a word or image on a website based in one country can amount to an infringement of a registered trade mark in another country.
Proper consideration of the appropriate countries in which to seek registration of a trade mark is crucial, not only for a business to properly protect its intellectual property in all markets in which it is active, but also to ensure that it does not unwittingly infringe existing marks in those markets.
Cross border litigation is typically extremely expensive and time consuming. Not only can an adverse outcome result in a business incurring significant financial liabilities, it can completely shut a business out of a market.
A relatively small time and financial investment before a business enters new markets can save significant problems down the track.
We have significant experience in the registration of trade marks outside of Australia and can guide you through what can otherwise be a daunting task. We specialise in providing clarity and confidence to business operators in all of their legal relationships – contact us today to discuss your legal needs or that of your clients.Back