What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a sign used or intended to be used to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person or organisation, from goods or services dealt with or provided by any other person or organisation.

A sign includes any of the following, or any combination of the following (note this :

Accordingly, a logo and any word marks may properly operate separately as a trademark. Often, you will use them in close association with each other. However, you will most likely find it beneficial to register both of these as separate trademarks.

What are the Benefits of Registration?

In general terms, once your trademark has been registered, you will obtain an Australia-wide monopoly for use of that trademark in respect of the goods or services (aka classes) for which registration was granted.

You will not obtain this right if you use your mark as a business name, domain name, or company name without registering it as a trademark.

How do I Apply for Registration?

Applications for trademark registration must be filed with IP Australia.

The current timeframe for registration is 8-12 months, however, sometimes IP Australia may expedite the process.

Applying for registration of your trademark will involve the following stages:

  1. Searches to establish whether there is a trademark that may be the same or very similar to your trademark;
  2. Identifying the relevant goods and/or services that you use or intend to use your trademark for. These are categorised into “classes”;
  3. Lodging an application for registration of a trademark with IP Australia;
  4. Dealing with any objection that IP Australia many have to the registration of the mark; and
  5. Paying registration fees which will ultimately be a prerequisite to the issuance of a certificate of registration.

Are you looking to register a trademark? Contact our Commercial Team today at nevileco@nevile.com.au

It would appear that not even Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) audits could escape the impacts of COVID lockdowns and the continued challenges faced by all businesses as we continue to recover.

For SMSFs that hold property, it is important that property valuations are market-related and can be substantiated. Recent changes to the Code of Ethics for auditors and tax professionals have highlighted the importance of obtaining independent advice to mitigate any potential or perceived threats to independence. Auditors seek valuations with objective and supportable data demonstrating market value, comparable sales evidence and the valuation methodology used.

With COVID continuing to affect the entire country, some SMSF trustees have been hesitant to have a property valuer enter their property to conduct a physical inspection due to the risk of infection and their vulnerability to the virus.

To alleviate these concerns, Law Central and ASX listed property valuation and advisory firm, Acumentis, have collaborated to provide access to a remote desktop-based SMSF Restricted Property Assessment service. This will be a fixed price service, available for commercial and residential properties. It promises to meet the ATO requirement for SMSF trustees to provide compliant market value estimates of property held within the fund, without the need for physical attendance at a property.

Law Central has negotiated with Acumentis to provide a Restricted Property Assessment for residential property (where the property value is less than $1.5M) for only $315 (Inc GST).

For commercial properties (where the value is less than $2.5M and has 2 or less tenants), the cost is $695 (Inc GST).

If a physical property valuation is required for specialised circumstances or complex properties, fully vaccinated valuers will inspect the property adhering to COVID safety protocols, aligned to government and best practice safety procedures.

You can find out more by contacting Nevile & Co. to discuss your requirements, or visit Law Central to order your assessment today.

Most of us are aware of what a Will is, and what is does, and most people have heard the term “power of attorney”. But do you know the difference between the two documents and how they may work together?

What is a Will?

A Will is a binding legal document that provides you with a method of sharing instructions for what you would like to happen with your estate with you die. Your estate includes your belongings, your assets and liabilities, and anything else you may own.

Your Will names the people you want your belongings and assets to be given to, and also enables you to set out who you would like to look after your children or pets.

A Will only takes effect when you die, and cannot be used in cases where you are still alive, even if affected by a serious injury or illness that leaves you unable to deal with your affairs. This is where you may need a Power of Attorney.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a person or organisation to make decisions on your behalf while you are still alive. The person you assign can be a family member, friend, lawyer, accountant, or government body such as the State Trustees.

There are several different types of Powers of Attorney.  Firstly, you may choose to appoint a general non-enduring Power of Attorney that authorises a person to act on your behalf for a specific purpose, such as while you are overseas. This type of attorney will end once the specific purpose has been completed, or once it is revoked.

You many prefer to appoint an enduring Power of Attorney. This authorises a person to make financial and personal decisions for you during your lifetime. You can choose when it begins, however unlike a non-enduring power, it will continue indefinitely in the event that you lose decision making capacity. That is, you can no longer make decisions on your own. The enduring Power of Attorney is designed to ensure that decisions are being made on your behalf and in your best interests when you are no longer able to do that for yourself.

Typically, powers of attorney will cease once you die, unless they have revoked by you earlier. After you die, your will becomes the most important document.

What is the difference between a Will and a Power of Attorney?

The main difference between a Will and Power of Attorney is when they take effect. As outlined earlier, a will is specifically used to manage your estate when you die, and takes effect after your death. In comparison, a Power of Attorney authorises the person you nominate to act on your behalf and takes effect during your lifetime.

The executor (the person in charge of carrying out your will) has a specific and limited job description. They need to make sure your property and assets are properly distributed. The person or organisation that you have appointed as your attorney will make all kinds of important decisions, but only while you are still alive.

Can the same person hold Power of Attorney and be the Executor of your Will?

Yes, they can indeed. In fact this is very common, because both roles hold responsibilities that you might want entrusted to a particular person or organisation, such as your partner or lawyer.

Keep in mind – naming someone as executor of your will does not automatically give them power of attorney though or the other way around. You still need to create two separate documents, a Will and a Power of Attorney document, to make sure you’re covered for both situations.

Need to prepare a Will and Power of Attorney? Contact Nevile & Co. today to make an appointment with our Special Counsel, Tracy Collins.

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