Trade marks are a badge of origin for producers, products and services. They distinguish one brand from another. A registered trade mark can provide substantial benefits to its holder. It can increase sales, increase the value of your business or be held as an asset.
You have exclusive rights to use the trade mark, be it the product name, logo or aspects of packaging. You can legally stop others from using it. Your right to exclusivity lasts for an initial 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely.
What’s the benefit? Protection.
Australian business SourceBottle® suffered a common misconception early in their business journey. Founder Bec Derrington told us: “When I first started, I thought registering my domain name would be enough. I soon realised that would not protect me if someone else wanted to use the same name. All I'd done was secured the web URL. This meant I needed to register the trade mark for my business, SourceBottle." Registering the trade mark gave Bec the ability to take action against anyone infringing her brand.
Traditionally, businesses relied on location to reach customers. The shift to online shopping brings new challenges in attracting customers and protecting your brand and identity, driving a need for greater protection against infringements.
Registering a trade mark protects your brand's point of difference, for the life of your business, across broad markets.
The ability to authorise others to use your trade mark is a powerful tool of protection when you create agreements with producers, distributors, sellers or contractors.
What’s the benefit? Business growth.
A distinct, recognisable and powerful brand identity is key in growing your business and building strong market presence. Using a combination of a registered trade mark and a licencing agreement offers the ability to grow and scale, leveraging the commercial value of the brand.
The success of the MOTTO MOTTO franchise is attributed to brand identity and licensing agreements. This allowed them to control the trade mark use by franchisees under license. These agreements ensure different users apply the brand with quality and consistency, reinforcing the brand’s identity rather than diluting or damaging it. Without trade marks, the partnership and investment elements that drove growth would have been difficult.
Growth and investment need security to be successful. Trade marking your brand (or brands) provides security for potential partners and investors. It shows that your business can withstand risks and pressures, and sets itself apart from the competition.
3. Business Asset
A trade mark can be bought or sold as part of your business. It can increase your value when selling or merging your business.
What’s the benefit? Sale or merger success.
Business sales and mergers are fraught with risks and can often fail. In the case of OpenText buying AppRiver, it was vital to calculate brand value and the connection to an existing customer base. AppRiver attributed its brand image and trade marks with its revenue and sales. By doing so, the transition of the company and its assets to OpenText was more successful. An enforceable brand kept the transition seamless for customers and the bottom line.
So whether you’re starting out or growing your business trade marks provide security and value for your business. Whether it’s stopping infringement or controlling who can use your brand, trade marks are an invaluable tool. To find out more about the trade mark registration process, visit our website.
For more information about the trade mark registration process, visit our website