And what does it mean?
What would you do if you found out that you couldn’t use your logo anymore? Someone else was using your logo/name? or that you were to be sued for illegal use of a graphic, name or even colour? It’s a topic that we should all be aware of ~ knowing the ins and outs of having your brand protected.
Today we ask Joanna Oakey from Aspect Legal to explain the importance of protecting your brand; how you can do it; and what to ask your designer when you are creating your brand.
Protecting your brand.
Why bother with getting a trademark registration?
There’s a misconception that having a business name or company name means that your brand name is protected. The harsh reality is that simply having a business name, company name or domain name registration is not enough, and quite often, clients decide to finally register a trade mark, often one they’ve been using for years, only to find out that someone else has gotten on the register first.
(Click here to read more about why you should get a trademark)
What can go wrong if I don’t?
A recent client’s experience, is a classic example of what can go wrong if you don’t get in early with a trademark registration. This business had been using a mark for years, and a competitor began to use their logo. If the client had registered the mark earlier it would’ve served as written proof of their registered rights, and could’ve stopped any issues before they started.
In these sorts of situations, there’s the risk of potential disaster – if the competitor gets in first with a trademark application (thus the importance of getting this done early in the process). Having to fight over a name that is rightfully yours when someone else has gotten on the register first can potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
What should I be asking my designer?
When you’re at the startup stage, and a designer is creating a brand for you, it’s the best time to be making sure you’re asking all the right questions. Creative people and lawyers want different things when it comes to trademarks. Your designer might be working very hard to come up with a name/graphic that is catchy, and somewhat related to, or descriptive of what you do. We, as lawyers on the other hand are asking, is your brand inherently protectable? Does this brand infringe anyone else’s rights? In other words, can we register this as a trademark, and get monopoly rights over that branding for our client?
(Click here to read more about how to create branding that can be registered)
How can Aspect Legal help?
There are many legal considerations that should be taken into account at the design stage of a trademark, to make sure that the mark being created is able to be protected. But it can all be a bit confusing! So don’t risk it yourself, ask us for help. We can do concept searches before you’ve even put pen to paper, to make sure that the list of names that you’re considering haven’t already been taken by someone else. Why pick a name that’s going to be difficult for you to get registered? And once your beautiful mark has been finalised, we can get it registered for you, which as we’ve discussed, is insurance for your marketing spend. And if you’ve already got a mark that you’ve been using for years and years without a registration, we can certainly help you get your trademark registration too and assist with taking action against competitors that might be infringing your mark.
jenious has worked with Aspect Legal and would be happy to collaborate with them to make sure your brand presence gets the protection it deserves! Contact us today to have a chat.