What is Brand?
A brand is a set of name, logo, symbol, or design that differentiates a product from another, while trademark is another tool of branding and marketing strategies. It has enormous commercial values because it enables customers to identify and recognise a product, thereby creating an identity of the business and maintaining its position in their minds. Trademark plays a significant role in the value of the business along with its physical assets, as it is part of the business’ goodwill and reputation. This explains why big companies do not hesitate to utilise all possible means to protect their trademarks and brand names from their competitors. However, the issue of brand protection tends to be overlooked by a lot of small and medium businesses, simply due to their lack of knowledge and appreciation of the potential values and benefits it may generate.
Why should I protect my brand and trademark?
Each business has a specific identity that is associated with certain values, quality and reputation. We do not want our identities to be confused with or misused by another business. Likewise, trademark is the identity of your brand and therefore protecting your trademark is protecting your brand and business as a whole. This will also become handy if you decide to transfer your business to another owner later on because a registered and protected trademark will guarantee a more certain and long-term value of the brand!
How can I protect my trademark?
First, it is important that the existence of your trademark is legally recognised. To enable this, trademarks should be, although not required to, registered with IP Australia. This will make it easier for you to take legal action if someone infringes your rights in relation to trademarks. The registration gives you exclusive rights to use, license and sell the mark, just like another product of your brand! This means that other businesses are precluded from using it and taking advantage of it for their benefits. However, there are several things that you should bear in mind:
• Is your trademark recognisable and representative of your brand?
• Is your trademark consistent with the goods or services it is associated with?
• Is your trademark identical to or easily confused with any existing trademarks in the market?
• Is there any potential infringement of your trademark by other competitors? If so, how can you enforce your rights?
The process of understanding the law and navigating through legislation may be more difficult than you can imagine. Regular monitoring and protection also require time and efforts to ensure that your trademark is well preserved. It is therefore highly recommended that you speak with a consultant at Nevile & Co., who understands and is well versed in ensuring a long-term protection of your brand and business.