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Trademark registration: advantages of having a professional application

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A trademark is valuable intellectual property and should be treated with great care.  Whilst there are avenues for DIY and online applications for trademark registration, the reality is that there are clear advantages to entrusting the process to skilled professionals.

Trademark registration overview

At face value, the procedure for a trade mark registration seems fairly straightforward.  However, there’s much more to the process than meets the eye.  Make a mistake or omit or overlook a crucial detail and the implications could be costly.  What’s more, there may be instances when an error is only discovered years down the line or when an objection arises and it cannot be rectified.

A trademarks attorney is trained and qualified in all aspects of trademark registration services including preparing and filing applications, executing trademark searches, launching and responding to objections and infringement allegations and preparing trademark assignment and licensing agreements.   They have a comprehensive understanding of the nuances of the complex world of trademark law and brand protection and importantly, they are familiar with the workings of IP Australia – the official department which handles all trademark registration applications.

This in-depth knowledge and specialist skill set are compelling reasons for entrusting your trademark registration application to a professional.  It means that your valuable asset will be in capable hands right from the start.

To understand why professional assistance in filing a trademark registration application is so important, let’s look at some of the factors that need to be considered:

  1. Trademark search. A professional trademarks attorney can conduct detailed searches internationally to ensure that the proposed trademark is unique.  If a search is incomplete or conducted incorrectly, it could result in delays because the trademark is too similar to another or could even result in a trademark registration application being dismissed.
  2. How many trademarks are to be registered, eg your brand name, logo and tagline?
  3. Do you want to register your business or brand name in combination with your logo? Bear in mind that this may limit your protection.
  4. What trademark class or classes do you wish to select? A professional will help avoid adverse repercussions as a result of having made the wrong choice of class or selecting too many classes.
  5. Objections may be received during the trademark registration application process. A trademarks attorney can help manage any objections and facilitate the best outcome.
  6. Ownership of the trade mark. It is imperative that the legal owner of the trademark be established to ensure a valid and properly enforceable registration.
  7. Timing. A professional will prepare and file a trademark registration application correctly so as to minimise unnecessary delays.
  8. Brand protection. A professional understands the business environment and knows how important a comprehensive brand protection strategy is.

Thinking about your trademark as part of your branding

The primary purpose of your brand or trademark is to enable your potential customers to distinguish your products and services from those of your competitors. With a brand, you can differentiate yourself from the competition. You individualize your product or service and thereby receive a protected recognition value.

If you do not protect your trademark in good time, you run the risk of your competition being ahead of you. The principle of priority prevails in trademark registration law. To put it casually: first come, first served. If your competition has already registered a similar or even identical trademark, it is usually too late.

The quality function

In addition to the function of origin just described, a trademark also has a quality function. Are you convinced of your product? Probably for good reason. Once you have convinced your customers of your product, your brand will begin to gain in value. Your customers trust your products and services. With a targeted marketing strategy you can ensure that your customers associate certain characteristics with your trademark.

If you use your trademark regularly and intensively, you can build up a specific product image in a very targeted manner. In addition to the quality of the product, your product image can develop into its own performance feature. Just think of the Apple trademark.

The positioning and establishment of brands offer you a number of advantages. Potential customers develop certain expectations and ideas with your trademark. With a well thought-out branding strategy, you can even influence the purchasing decisions of your potential customers in your favor. But not only the product, your company itself benefits enormously from this.

The quality of a brand does not only influence your potential customers. A strong brand is also an advantage in-house. A brand thus contributes to the so-called corporate identity. Your employees can identify with you better as part of the company and will usually be more productive. Last but not least, well-known and high-quality brands also motivate potential employees to be interested in the company in question.

The exclusivity

Another decisive reason for trademark registration is the exclusivity. You alone own the brand and trademark. On the one hand, the aspect of exclusivity is linked to the quality and origin functions. If you have managed to get your customers to associate certain properties with your products, these properties or the combination of these properties will be exclusively associated with your trademark and thus with your company.

At the beginning we mentioned that your competition can get ahead of you with a trademark registration. Be faster! The exclusivity of a brand also means that you can exclude your competitors from using a certain brand. Once your trademark has been registered, you can decide who is allowed to use this trademark or you can prevent your trademark from being misused.

The value of a brand trademark

Once your brand has established itself, your trademark has a financial value in addition to the ideal values ​​just presented. Let’s say you run a small, medium-sized company that does business online. You have registered a trademark for your products. If it should come to the case that someone infringes your trademark, you could take legal action against this and prohibit the infringer from using the designation you are protecting in traffic. On the Amazon marketplace, for example, each individual (branded) article is assigned a specific article page. It is obvious that it claims a significant economic advantage to be the only one who can legitimately offer the corresponding article there.

You can of course also trade in brands. You can buy brands or sell your trademark. Of course, you also have the option of licensing your trademark. In this way, even if a trademark is not used, you can still benefit from an application.

Legal protection of trademark registration

Last but not least, we would like to show you your legal options in the event of a trademark infringement. The law gives you a wide range of options for enforcing the property right you have acquired.

But even in the event that a third party imitates your goods and uses your trademark, you have a variety of options to counteract this. On the one hand, you can warn the opponent. With such a warning, you are asking your opponent, on the one hand, to eliminate the trademark infringement. So that you require from your opponent usually on to a criminal penalty declaration of failure to deliver. If your opponent repeats the violation of the law, he would have to pay you a contractual penalty solely on the basis of his declaration of cease and desist. If the infringement of your trademark continues, it is not unlikely that you have suffered economic damage as a result. You can then have this settled by way of a claim for damages.

If you feel compelled to enforce your claims in court, you have to prove your ownership of the trademark. If you have not registered your trademark and have placed your hopes in a rare trademark, this question of evidence alone could put you in a mess. In the opposite case, however, you only need to present your trademark certificate.

Conclusion

It is not just the actual assets that make a trademark so valuable. Above all, the ideal values, such as the origin or quality function, are decisive for a brand. The individualization that you achieve with a trademark or the product image are factors that indirectly increase your sales.

By choosing a qualified trademarks attorney for your application, you’re choosing specialist expertise and insider knowledge that will save you money, time and hassle in the long-term.  They can handle every step of your application, plus address any objections, deal with any potential infringements and put in place a brand protection strategy to support your long-term business objectives.

About Jacqui Pryor

Jacqui Pryor is a trademarks attorney with more than 17 years of experience in the trademark industry, before establishing her business Mark My Words Trademark Services she worked as a senior trademark consultant and business manager with other trademark companies for more than a decade. She is able to provide advice and assistance on trademark registration matters, infringement matters, opposition matters and can also assist with many other business enquiries. The company has expanded since 2011 to include further consulting and administrative staff. Jacqui is a registered trade marks attorney and she holds a graduate certificate in Trade Mark Law & Practices; and a diploma in business management.

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