What is a trademark?
A trademark is a legal form of protection that can apply to words, a complete phrase (such as a slogan), a logo or other image, or some unique combination of these elements. The word ‘unique’ here is key, in that each of these elements must be distinctive from others that are already trademarked or even that are being actively used in the marketplace. In other words, you will not be able to obtain protection for something that can be confused for an existing mark. Trademarks may be applied for through an IP lawyer Australia.
How does a trademark protect?
Once you’ve designed a unique trademark to represent your brand, obtaining this legal protection status will allow you to stop infringement attempts. That is, if someone else tries to use your design as part of their product or offering, you have the legal right to take them to court in an attempt to make them stop. Many times, if infringement of any degree takes place, it is even possible to stop it from continuing by sending a ‘cease and desist’ letter as a warning, informing the offending party that they have violated your protected mark, by using another that is similar or even identical.
How do I register a trademark and how much does it cost?
You can register your trademark design through the corresponding government office of your country, such as the patent office. If you are willing to learn how to fill out the appropriate forms, utilizing the correct codes and industry categories for your trademark use, you may be able to complete the process for less than $500 USD equivalent in many cases. However, the advantage of obtaining assistance from a lawyer is manifold. For example, a trademark attorney can assist you with researching existing marks and providing you with an opinion regarding application success. This is based on their experience in litigating many trademark intellectual property law cases and a deep familiarity with the degree of uniqueness marks and designs must have to succeed in registration.
How long does at trademark last and how long does registration take?
Initial registration lasts for a ten year time period, and this may theoretically be renewed indefinitely, as long as all requirements are consistently met. From the moment a trademark application is submitted, it is not uncommon for it to take one to two years until final approval it obtained. This time window will also include an obligatory period during which the trademark design is published in a public forum, such as a newspaper. It is the up to anyone who feels that the new trademark violates an existing one to file a complaint. If no objections are made, then the application may continue. This is another reason to seek out an intellectual property lawyer and to keep them on retainer, even if a minimal one, as they can keep tabs on such publications to ensure no new trademark design applications conflict with any marks you already have protection for. A failure to object if an even slightly-similar mark tries to register, can work against you when trying to protect your own in the future.