What do you need to know if you are thinking about registering a trade mark? There's a lot more than you could ever learn from one article or even days of coaching.
To help you make decisions about registration let's break the subject down to 10 simple points worth knowing. The 10 points below were prepared by two high school students who had a week's work experience in our firm. Check your knowledge.
Trade marks protection - A registered trade mark protects those who created, developed, use or own it and allows for an individual, company or other organisation to be differentiated from its competitors.
Legal logic for trade marks law - A trademark is a sign, phrase or slogan that distinguishes its owner from others and allows people to relate that trade mark to the owner’s product.
Trade mark subject matter - Slogans, logos, phrases, domain names, shapes, sounds or colours can all be registered as trade marks for a company.
Best trade marks - The best trade mark names are those that are unique and individual, that is they are distinctive and do not just describe a product using a generic term.
Surname trade marks - A surname for a trade mark is often not considered to be distinctive and so can often be very challenging for it to be registered.
Registration classes - A registered trade mark for goods or services is classed (ie put into specific classes, there are 45 in Australia) in a number of groups depending on the trade mark's description of goods or services.
Registration process and time - For a trade mark to be registered there is a process that has to be undertaken. This includes an application for the trade mark to be registered, an examination of the trade mark, a period of two months where the proposed trade mark can be opposed by others and if after that period the trade mark has not been opposed it can then be registered.
Registered trade mark symbol - The letter "R" in a circle symbol - ie ® - is used to show that a trade mark is registered.
Registration lost - A trade mark can lose its registration if its renewal fees are not paid or if the trade mark is no longer used.
Why register - It is very important to register a trade mark as it acts as a safeguard for your signs so that no one else can copy them and if they do they can be taken to court.