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Cred: Robert Anasch

Safeguarding your business identity with trademark protection

Trade marks hold immense value for small business owners, as they serve as essential assets that set their products and services apart from competitors. 

By registering a trade mark, you gain exclusive rights to use it as your brand in Australia and establish a legal pathway to prevent others from trading with similar goods or services.

In today’s fast-paced and globally connected marketplace, safeguarding your trade mark against infringement becomes crucial. Here are six effective strategies to protect your trade mark:

Register your trade mark: Take advantage of IP Australia’s innovative TM Checker tool, a free pilot program that helps you determine the eligibility of your trade mark registration. Conducting an initial check only takes a few minutes and provides valuable insights.

Consistency is key: Maintain consistency in how you use your registered trade mark across all marketing and promotional materials. This includes using the same spelling, design, and colour scheme. Remember to use your trade mark as an adjective rather than a noun or verb, reinforcing its distinctive nature (e.g., ‘Kleenex brand tissues’ instead of ‘Kleenexes’).

Monitor potential infringements: Stay vigilant by actively monitoring the marketplace for any potential trade mark infringements. This involves closely monitoring online platforms, social media channels, and industry publications. Utilise tools like TM Checker to conduct searches for your trade mark and similar registered trademarks.

Enforce your rights: If you suspect someone is infringing on your registered trade mark, take necessary action to enforce your rights. This can involve issuing a cease and desist letter, initiating a trade mark infringement lawsuit, or filing an opposition or cancellation proceeding through IP Australia.

Explore alternative dispute resolution: In certain cases, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods can offer efficient and cost-effective solutions to resolve trade mark disputes outside the courtroom. Visit IP Australia’s website for more information and familiarise yourself with the available options before pursuing legal action.

Challenge domain names: If someone registers a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to your registered trade mark, you can take action through organisations like auDA (for Australian domains) or the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) globally. These avenues allow trade mark owners to challenge domain name registrations that infringe upon their rights.

Source: Business.gov.au

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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