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Business/Commercial Law

Neville Windebank

Accredited Business Law Specialist>

Trade Marks

Does your business have a logo or name by which it is identified with your business in the marketplace?

Have you ensured that the logo is protected and that others cannot copy to or use it?

Did you realise that the registration of the Company name or business name does not protect the design of the logo or the name for use in a manner different to the operation of the business?

Was your logo designed by another person, a printer or graphic designer? If so you may not own the copyright in the logo. Unless the copyright is assigned in writing to you or your company it is retained by the original author.
There are all matters which you need to address if you wish to protect the intellectual property of your logo.

Trade marks are registered for classes of goods so if you have a wide range of products it may be necessary to register the mark for several classes of goods. Trade marks are registered within a country so you may also need to register the mark in a number of countries if you export your goods or may do so in the future.

You may also need to check to see that the mark has not been registered in another country by a competitor or potential competitor. If you register the mark in Australia then the mark will have priority for registration in any other country in the world for a period of six months from the date of registration in Australia. A registration lasts for a period of ten years and may be renewed after the initial term.

It is important that the mark be distinctive and can be either a word or series of words a design or artwork or a combination of these. You cannot get exclusive rights to a word or to a made up word. One of the most famous trade marks is the Coke Cola trade mark which is registered as a made up word and also in its stylized form. However Coke Cola does not have exclusive rights to the word Cola, only to the combination of the words.

Trade Marks can be assigned on the sale of your business and can add substantial value to your business. However to maximise the value you must protect your intellectual property.

 

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
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