Intellectual property is among the most important assets a business can “possess” today. It can be the key to differentiating one’s brand and proposition, and can have independent value in the millions. In this case study, we look at a recent case we undertook in intellectual property law, achieving a trademark that has future-proofed our client’s business name, brand and value.
Background: Understanding trademarks
Trademarks are a type of Intellectual Property which protect your business’ image, brand and reputation.
A trademark can protect the name of a business, the logo, a slogan/phrase, a letter, number, picture, sound, smell or even a combination of these.
How trademarks are registered in Australia
Trademarks in Australia are registered with IP Australia and undergo a lengthy process of registration to ensure that each trademark is distinctive enough to separate it from the rest.
Registration through IP Australia gives each individual/corporation the exclusive legal right to use the trademark in a multitude of classes of business activities.
There are 45 classes which are divided into goods and services, and include for example – advertising, construction medical or veterinary services, furniture, machinery and clothing.
A full list of the goods and services can be found on the IP Australia website.
The facts of this case
In late 2019, we were approached by a client who discovered a niche in the pet and animals market which he wanted to pursue.
He sought our advice on ways he could protect his new business name and logo. His intention was to create a “one-stop application” for pet owners, dealers and veterinarians on the one digital platform.
Before he entered into the market, we conducted a thorough search of the initial business name which he proposed (in the same classes) and determined that it was too similar to other names on the market.
We provided extensive advice to our client and, after some discussion, he re-crafted the business name into one that was more distinguishable,
We subsequently assisted him by applying to IP Australia on his behalf.
Several months later, our client’s business name and logo are now protected Australia-wide, and he has one less issue to worry about for the next 10 years. In a market that is highly contested and competitive, even the slightest brand “edge” can have significant commercial implications in the long-term.
This case demonstrates the need for companies in competitive markets to take intellectual property seriously and take proactive steps to ensure their intellectual property is secured.
If you are interested in registering a trademark and protecting your business, get in touch with Birchgrove Legal on (02) 9018 1067 to explore how we can support your IP needs.