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What’s in a name? A guide to business trademarks

There’s something about the sight of those golden arches that just gets your tummy rumbling and your mouth salivating. When you’re overseas there’s nothing like a glimpse of the Flying Kangaroo to make you feel homesick. In this case, you might reach for a packet of Arnott’s biscuits hoping that the parrot will warm your heart.

Why is it that every Australian backpacker you meet will be carrying a tube of vitamin-rich brewer’s yeast with the gaudy yellow and red logo? How did we come to instantly associate an apple with cutting edge technology and a tick with quality sporting apparel?

Welcome to the wonderful world of trademarks, a brand’s opportunity to connect with us so strongly on a personal level that we subconsciously attach feelings and memories to their logo. Trademarks represent a range of expectations and emotions that we link to certain brands. They act as a consumer information shortcut. Never underestimate their importance, power, value or the length that companies will go to in order to protect this precious asset.

While most of the aforementioned trademarks are among some of the most famous in the world, various names, symbols, letters, words, smells, sounds, movement and packaging can also be classed as trademarks. It can be a confusing area to navigate and that’s why BlueRock Law can advise and guide you to take the stress out of trademark registration. 

So, what’s the purpose of registering?

A trademark is a form of brand protection. 

It’s the way your clients distinguish between your products and services and those of your competitors. Ever wondered why your child will choose a Boost Juice over another unbranded juice? That’s the power of the trademark - Boost is symbolic of all juice for some people. 

Trademarks are valuable

They give the owner the exclusive right to use, license and sell the mark. It’s also a great marketing tool. The success of your trademark is linked to business success. As your business grows, your trademark asset will appreciate. For example, Google’s trademark is worth $44 billion - that’s 27% of the company’s net worth! 

It gives you exclusive ownership of your business name

You need a business or company name to run your business, but they don’t stop people using the same name or similar. Likewise, a domain only secures your web URL - registering a domain name will not protect you if someone wants to use the same name. A registered trademark gives you the exclusive right to use that mark. Oscar Wilde once said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, but when it comes to your business name, nobody likes a copycat!

Get me a trademark, get it to me now!

Consider your brand a critical asset. Let us help you do your due diligence before you invest a lot of time and money. You need a trademark that will work for you, distinctly identifying your business and protecting you from competitors, while not infringing on anyone’s prior rights. Invest upfront and you will avoid the high costs of disputes and litigation. 

Our advice? don’t go it alone as there are plenty of mistakes to be made along the way. Get in touch with us and we’ll be there to guide you right through to registration.

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