We often hear about the importance of building a brand or brand equity. Business brand equity is a real thing, though somewhat difficult to quantify sometimes unless you're Donald Trump. As a business owner you invest in logos, customer service, guarantees and product quality to build your brand equity over time.
After you have built a recognisable brand what is stopping another usurper from feeding off or steeling your brand equity for their own gain? In Australia you have a few options to protect your brand equity; Business name, Trademark and registered trademark (Lahser, 2014).
The first place to start is Business Name. A business name is a legal means to identify your business (obviously). However, registering your business name, trading name does not give you automatic full rights over that name. It also has no protection over your logo. This is where trademarking your business name and logo/s comes into play.
Here are the differences in Australia for Business name and Trade mark.
(Note: More detailed information available here)
When using a trade mark for your brand you can be register and use the ® or unregistered and use the (TM) symbol. Both offer protection for your brand equity. Why spend your sweat to build your brand to have it swooped out from under you protect yourself before it is to late.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advise, merely information only. We do not claim to know the law or make any claims about the accuracy of this advise in this blog. Any action you take is of your own accord and we recommend consulting with a qualified trademark specialist before taking any action.
Lahser, A. P. (2014, March 11). Trademark symbol: How to (legally) use ® and ™. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from How Conceptual.com, http://howconceptual.com/tm-symbol/
Australian Government, & Australian Government. (2015, October 29). Benefits of trade marks. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from Australian Government IP Australia, http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/get-the-right-ip/trade-marks/trade-mark-basics/benefits-of-trade-marks/
Australian Tax Office©, (2015, September 4). Ato. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from ATO, https://www.ato.gov.au