Protect your intellectual property - trade mark your business name or risk losing it!
While most business owners know the importance of registering trading names with ASIC, there is far less understanding of the importance to trademark key intellectual property assets, like your trading names, slogans and logos.
Failure to do so can result in an opportunistic third party taking the marks from under your feet and potentially crippling your business.
We recently advised a business whose trading name had been trade marked by an unrelated party. That party was known to our client and had registered the relevant trade mark without our client’s knowledge or consent.
Our client had spent a significant sum on branding and shop fit outs (which heavily drew on the relevant trading name) and had spent a number of years building goodwill in the relevant name. It had registered its trading name with ASIC, but neglected to apply for a trade mark.
Our client became aware of the registration of the trade mark after the period in which an objection could have been lodged. It did not appear that the other party was actively using the trade mark, however not enough time had passed since the mark had been registration for our client to apply to have the registration cancelled due to non-use.
The scenario the client faced was to either take Court action to have the trade mark transferred to it, or to purchase the trade mark off the other party. If they were to take no action and continued to trade under their business name, they could have faced a trade mark infringement claim by the other party.
This client’s situation highlights the importance for every business to ensure that it has adequately protected its intellectual property. If your business uses a relatively unique name, or a specific logo or slogan then you should apply for trade marks for those items or risk your business’ success.
We have years of experience in helping businesses manage their intellectual property rights. We specialise in providing clarity and confidence to business operators in all of their legal relationships – contact us today to discuss your legal needs.