When to Register a Trademark for Your Product or Brand

Understanding the significance of trademarks

A brand is more than just a business name or logo. It’s an identity customers recognise and return to. It’s a platform for growth. And it’s something worth protecting.

This is where trademarks come into play. Trademarks are a key component of intellectual property (IP) law and are crucial for protecting a business’s offerings, brands and reputation.

At Registry Australia, we understand the nuances of trademark registration and how it can safeguard your brand’s unique identity. Let’s explore when and why you should consider registering a trademark, how it’s done, and what costs you can expect.

Trademark FAQs

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign that distinguishes one business’s goods or services from another’s. The primary purpose is to avoid confusion by helping customers distinguish between brands and products.

Who oversees trademarks in Australia?

The Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) governs trademarks and trademark law. You can read the Act online if you’re interested.

IP Australia is the Government agency responsible for registering and enforcing trademarks in Australia. We fully integrate with IP Australia to remove the hassle of trademark registration for small business owners.

What trademarks can be registered in Australia?

Trademarks can include words, logos, colours, shapes, sounds, packaging, movements and even scents – anything that identifies the source of a product or service.

Some things can’t be trademarked. If you’re considering registering a trademark, it’s worth skimming through IP Australia’s guidance information.

Can you trademark a name?

Yes, trademarking a name is a clever way to gain confidence that another business won’t infringe on your idea. Registered business names and company names offer some protection against infringement, but trademarks carry more weight.

How does a trademark protect my IP and business?

A registered trademark gives the owner exclusive rights to use the trademark for the designated goods, services and brand elements. Trademark owners can prevent others from using an identical or deceptively similar mark, especially where doing so might confuse or mislead customers. These rights are legally enforceable.

A registered trademark also enhances your brand’s credibility and reputation, signalling to customers that your business is legitimate and established.

How long do trademarks last? Registered trademarks are protected for 10 years starting from the filing date. You can then renew the trademark indefinitely for further 10-year periods. However, trademarks must remain in active use. Three continuous years of non-use can lead to cancellation.

How long do trademarks last?

Registered trademarks are protected for 10 years starting from the filing date. You can then renew the trademark indefinitely for further 10-year periods.

However, trademarks must remain in active use. Three continuous years of non-use can lead to cancellation.

Do trademarks apply internationally?

If you’ve got aspirations to grow beyond our shores, you might look to trademark a name, product, brand or other element central to your business.

While trademarks generally need to be registered in each country, international frameworks like the Madrid System can cover multiple countries. Our experienced trademark specialists are the best people to ask for tailored advice on registering trademarks outside Australia.

When should a business owner consider trademark registration?

The benefits of early trademark registration

Starting your business journey with a trademark registration might seem premature, but it’s a strategic move to safeguard your growth. Registering your trademark early can:

  • Secure your identity against potential misuse or copying for 10 years.
  • Build brand value and establish credibility with customers.
  • Differentiate your business, making your brand easily recognisable – and impossible to imitate.

That said, deciding when to register a trademark involves weighing several factors.

First, you need to assess the risk of someone else replicating or misusing the element you want to protect.

You should also consider your brand's current and potential value in the market. If you believe your business is heading for bigger things, registering a trademark can safeguard that growth against cheap imitations.

In our experience as Australia’s trademark registry partners, the more unique your brand, the stronger the case for early registration.

How much does registering a trademark cost?

Trademark registration fees are generally affordable, but the cost may vary depending on the complexity of your application. We recommend budgeting at least $300 per trademark registration.

The easiest way to get an accurate idea of trademark costs is to contact our support team for a tailored solution.

How does trademark registration work?

Registering a trademark in Australia involves several steps. Unlike registering a business name, it’s not instant or automatic.

  1. Before applying for registration, conduct a thorough trademark search to ensure your mark is available
  2. Gather the necessary documentation, including a clear description of what you’re trademarking, and file an application with IP Australia
  3. IP Australia will examine your application for compliance with the relevant regulations. You might be required to amend or correct your application
  4. Your application will be advertised for public opposition, allowing others to raise objections if they believe your mark is too similar to theirs
  5. Provided no other business objects, your mark will be registered, and you will receive a certificate of registration valid for 10 years

Or you can make things easy and bundle trademarks, business name renewal and online growth services with Registry Australia.

Protect your brand and grow your business

Your brand is the essence of your business. Registering a trademark is pivotal in protecting this brand as your business grows. It’s not just about legal ownership; it’s about differentiating your offering and building a legacy.

We provide affordable, tailored support to help small business owners register trademarks in Australia. If you’re ready to protect your IP and grow your business, contact our trademark registration specialists on 1300 070 000 or by email at info@registry.com.au.

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