So you have a fantastic business idea and you have just registered your business name with ASIC. You are now ready to start trading, but have you legally protected your business fully? You may want to consider registering your business as a trademark as well.
In this blog we have teamed up with Jacqui Pryor, our trademarks specialist, to provide you with some basic tips on why you would register a trademark.
Does registering my business name with ASIC protect my business fully?
Simply registering your business name with ASIC does NOT provide you with the ability or power to prevent another person from starting a similar business with a similar name in your location. To do this, you must have also registered your business as a trademark.
ASIC advises you that it is your responsibility to make sure that the business name you’ve chosen does not infringe upon any registered trademark within Australia. It is your responsibility to undertake this process before commencing trading. If another business has a registered trademark for a similar name in a similar industry, then they may take action to prevent you from operating your business under that name. Conversely, once you have registered your business as a trademark, you can take the same action against others.
How does a registered trademark protect my business?
When you register a trademark, you are provided the right to use that particular trademark, whether it be a business name, a logo or a slogan, for your goods and services exclusively. Essentially this means that you can prevent someone from using that business name or perhaps a confusingly similar business name, to which you have registered your trademark.
For example, I register a business called ABC Systems but do not take the additional step of trademarking my business name. A few months later another similar business starts up called ABC Systems Australia. Because I did not register my business name as a trademark, I could be rendered powerless from preventing them from trading and the result may mean that I lose a lot of customers because they contact this business instead.
Similarly, if a business was to open in a similar location with a similar name, I would be powerless to stop them from trading under that name, unless I have a registered trademark.
Trademarks are added protection
The way that our trademark consultant, Jacqui, describes a trademark is that it’s considered a type of insurance over your business name. It gives you that extra-added protection to ensure that you’re protecting your brand, your slogan, and/or your name for your goods and services, and all your hard work in building your business will be protected from someone else starting a similar business with a similar name and effectively taking business from you.
If obtaining a Trademark for your business is something you are considering we are able to help.
If you would like to book a Quick Match from Jacqui Pryor, please follow the links on the Legally Yours website.
This article is written by Karen Finch in consultation with Jacqui Pryor 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.