What we do
- Assistance with brand selection
- Trade mark searches
- Applications for registration in Australia, New Zealand and overseas
- Strategic advice and due diligence work
- Oppositions and cancellation actions for non-use
- Infringement and dispute resolution
- Domain Name disputes
What is a trade mark?
A registered trade mark is traditionally a sign, brand, word, name, logo, image, other distinguishing feature or combination of these applied in relation to goods and services. Smells, shapes, colour, sound and aspects of packaging may also now be registered as a trade mark but are usually more difficult to register than the traditional forms. A trade mark serves to distinguish one supplier’s goods or services from those of another allowing consumers to be able to identify the origin of the goods or services. Trade Mark registration is available in Australia and the vast majority of overseas countries.
When you register a trade mark, you are provided with the exclusive right to use that trade mark nationally and enforce your registration against others who use it without your permission . As registered owner of the trade mark, you also have the right to sell it, or license it to others. All of these benefits give you a competitive advantage in promoting and developing your brand. A good trade mark becomes a key marketing tool in attracting and keeping your customers, and illustrates a point of difference between your product and those of your competitors while helping to increase the value and commercial success of your business.
How we can help
We can provide initial advice on brand selection and conduct searches to check that the trade mark is available for you to use and register before any expenditure is outlaid for packaging and marketing. We can then help with registering the trade mark in Australia. If you are the owner of a trade mark in Australia and intend to expand your business internationally, we can help you to identify and comply with what is required to register your brand in a target country.
Most countries provide for the registration of trade marks in their jurisdictions. All such countries adopt either the “First to File” or “First to Use” system and it is important to be aware of the trade mark system operating in each country of interest. Failure to register your trade mark in “First to File” country keeps the door open for unscrupulous third parties to register your mark there, thus giving them the ability to possibly prevent you from using your own mark there, even though you may have already been using it in that country for some time.
It is important to recognise that an Australian trade mark does not give you reciprocal rights in another country and you must take active steps to protect your trade mark in any country in which you have a business interest. Early trade mark registration is recommended. We can conduct trade mark searches internationally to identify the availability for use of a trade mark in export countries.
If your mark appears to be clear for use, we can advise you on the best strategy for protection while keeping an eye on cost effectiveness, and then proceed and to prepare file the necessary applications.
For overseas applications, we always endeavour to work with like-minded intellectual property firms who also enjoy working with emerging and growing businesses. In this way, we can keep costs to a more manageable level for you.
And if someone is infringing your registered trade mark, we are here for you. We think our costs are very competitive and work on a flat charge out rate for trade mark registration work. Do contact us for an obligation free estimate of costs. We always try to be as transparent as possible.
Our trade mark people are highly trained and keep up to date with latest developments in trade mark law and practice by regularly attending external seminars and conferences. Each year, we travel extensively overseas to attend international conferences in order to keep abreast of key developments and also to meet with our growing international network of intellectual property firms.
We already work with a large number of overseas intellectual property firms from all corners of the globe to help them to register their clients’ trade marks in Australia. Contact us for a competitive estimate of costs
Each member of the EKM patent and trade marks team is a member of The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia the peak professional body representing Australian patent and trademark attorneys.