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What is a trade mark and why might I need one?

Justin Fung, Avant Law - Partner, Head of Commercial & Corporate | General Manager

A trademark is a form of intellectual property, that is, an intangible creation of the mind that is nevertheless recognised by the law as a property asset. Trademarks are often also described as brands and are used to distinguish your goods and/or services from those of your competitors.

A trademark can be a letter, number, word, phrase, logo, image, sound, movement, shape or scent. Businesses often have more than one trademark to cover all the different ways that they use their brand. Different trademarks could include word, image(logo) and composite marks. 

A trademark can be registered or unregistered, but there is no doubt registering your trademark gives you more rights to stop others infringing in. A registered trademark can also be a valuable business asset to include in a sale.  

Contrary to popular belief, your registered business name does not give you any proprietary rights in that name. Requiring business names to be registered is designed to protect consumers, so customers know who they are dealing with. It is not intended to protect businesses.

If you are successful in registering your business name as a trademark it will give you exclusive rights to use that name in Australia in the classes of goods and services that you have registered it in. 

If you want your business to stand out from the crowd, and you don't want your competitors to be able to piggyback off your brand, consider filing your trademark application/s today

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About the author

Justin Fung

Justin Fung is a lawyer and the Head of Commercial and Corporate in our Avant Law team. Justin has over 15 years’ experience advising in commercial, corporate, risk, compliance, governance, regulatory enforcement and dispute resolution and advises clients in the private and public sectors. He was previously General Counsel of a national allied health group of companies and held Group and Divisional Head of Legal roles in a major ASX-listed health company, whose operations covered medical and dental centres, allied health, pathology, diagnostic imaging, assisted reproductive technologies, day surgeries and hospitals. Prior to these in-house legal roles, Justin was an Executive Counsel with the global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills where he practiced for over 10 years.


Disclaimers

The information in this article does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of this content. The information in this article is current to 15 July 2022.  Legal services are provided by Avant Law.  Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Legal practitioners employed by Avant Law Pty Limited are members of the scheme. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2024

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