Why you must protect your small business brand

Most people have heard the term ‘trademark’ and some might be aware that to protect a trademark it needs to be formally registered. A registered trademark is the protection available over any ‘sign’ that you use to brand your products or services; to distinguish them from other people’s similar products or services. This could be a name, an image, a slogan, a colour, a shape – even sounds and smells can be registered as trademarks, so long as they do act as a badge of origin for the relevant goods/services.

Trademark registration does not have to cost an arm and a leg and it is especially important for small business owners to consider registering their trademarks. If you were to attend to your own trademark application the cost is as little as $370.00 spread over 2 stages and giving you a 10 year protection Australia wide. Trademark registration is a little like insurance for your brands and logos. You would take out an insurance policy to protect your stock and equipment, or your home contents so this is like a safe guard over your brand.

The cost of not registering can be huge:

  • Without trademark registration in place, you are next to powerless in stopping others from using your trademark! The cost involved in taking action against someone when you don’t have trademark registration is huge and is quite limited;
  • Without trademark registration in place you have not been granted the right to use your brands, logos, slogans and similar. The cost to defend against infringement action if a registered trademark owner feels your brands, logos and slogans are too similar to theirs is huge.  Not to mention the cost of rebranding if you are not successful or choose not to fight.

Why you must protect your small business brand and get assistance to do so.

There are a number of reasons why you should seek assistance in filing your trademark application and fees to employ a professional to attend to your trademark application will vary depending on the firm or company you choose.

The potential cost in having to defend yourself against infringement action (or take action without trademark registration) can start at around $5000.00 simply to brief a barrister and receive their opinion; costs of $20,000 or more are not uncommon in formal mediation cases, and costs in excess of $50,000 are likely in full blown court actions! So, when you think about it, trademark registration is a pretty inexpensive way to achieve peace of mind!

Guest Blog Contributor:

Jacqui Pryor

Director of Mark My Words Trademark Services Pty Ltd

Jacqui Pryor has more than 14 years of experience in Australian & International Trademark registration matters. Jacqui’s passion is with small and start-up businesses; wishing to ensure that businesses of all shapes and sizes have access to professional services in this area.

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