- What is a trade mark?
A trade mark is a trader’s badge of origin. Trade marks are intended to protect a trader’s goodwill in a product or name while protecting the public from counterfeit goods or services.
A trade mark may be a letter, word, name, signature, number, logo, picture, brand, aspect of packaging, shape, color, sound or scent, or any combination of those.
Trade marks are registered in relation to certain classes of goods and/or services. Other traders are therefore free to use or register the same trade mark for unrelated goods and/or services.
- When should I register a trade mark?You should register or apply for trade mark as soon as possible, as the priority date for a trade mark is the date it is filed. Having the earliest priority date possible is important in case someone else files a similar trade mark. Get a trademark at the earliest.
- What protection does a trade mark give me?The owner of a registered trade mark has the exclusive rights to use the trade mark and authorize other persons to use the trade mark in relation to the goods and/or services in respect of which the trade mark is registered. This means you can stop someone else using a trade mark or to protect your brand in relation to goods or services that are the same or similar to the goods or services covered by your registered trade mark. Registered trade marks can also be sold, transferred or licensed to another person, and even encumbered. A registered trade mark lasts 10 years, and can be continually renewed for successive 10 year periods by paying a renewal fee.