Almost all businesses have intellectual property (IP) that needs to be protected, and as a business owner, it’s important to understand how to protect your IP. However, many business owners fail to protect their IP for fear of it being complex and costly to do so.
While it may feel daunting, failing to protect your IP can lead to devastating outcomes, so it’s crucial to correctly register your IP and have a lawyer assist you with any IP disputes that may arise. You can then rest assured that your business has the correct legal underpinnings in place to build upon.
There are many different types of IP, but the most common forms of IP that we see clients register are patents and trademarks.
How can a Patent protect my business?
Patents are used primarily to prevent third parties from manufacturing, using and/or selling an invention. They can be complex and take time to register, so it’s important to get advice early.
How can a Trademark protect my business?
By registering your trademark you are stopping third parties from being able to use your brand. In and of itself it can be used as a marketing tool.
It’s relatively easy to register a trademark and is the first form of IP most business owners protect. By failing to register your trademark you could leave your business exposed. Registering a trademark is not the same as registering an IP address or business name. It provides far greater protection. Here’s what Bec Derrington had to say about registering her trademark for Sourcebottle:
‘When I first started I thought registering my domain name would be enough, but I soon realised that would not protect me if someone else wanted to use the name SourceBottle®. All I’d done was ensure they just couldn’t use the same domain address. This meant I needed to register the trademark for my business, SourceBottle®. I used a trademark attorney to manage the process, who was able to determine the right classes under which to register the mark.’
Soon after Derrington launched the business nationally she realised she wanted to expand it globally. But she discovered that a martial arts studio owned the ‘sourcebottle.com’ domain name (she had sourcebottle.com). Thankfully, they had not sought to register the trademark in any international markets, so she could register the trademark internationally without any opposition, and managed to buy the ‘sourcebottle.com’ domain from the studio as well.
As demonstrated by Bec Derrington, registering your IP is crucial to your success as a business owner.
We work with business owners of all sizes across all industries. Connect with experienced lawyers for cost-effective IP solutions.
This article is written by Karen Finch and was first published on the Legally Yours website.
This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to practising lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Legally Yours Pty Ltd accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.