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Know your rights: intellectual property 101

Updated: Jan 19


A fist on yellow background. Get to know your IP right with Law Team.

Whether you’re a tech start up, property developer, interior designer, or creative entrepreneur, if you’re in business, you have Intellectual Property (IP).


Not exactly sure what your IP is? It’s simple. Your Intellectual Property is any logo, words, images, product, service, process or idea that belongs to you.


It’s what sets you apart in the market.


And that’s worth protecting.


YOUR IP PROTECTION RIGHTS

With IP disputes becoming increasingly common, its crucial to understand how you can protect your IP through trademarks. 


When registered and managed correctly, they help you safeguard your business and commercialise your creations. But without the correct protection in place, you risk brand reputation and market share.


So what’s a trademark?


A trademark, often referred to as a ‘brand’ is a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trading. 


A ‘sign’ can mean anything from letters, words, names, numbers to labels, shapes, colours, and sounds.  To protect your business, you might consider registering a trademark to protect others form infringing on your ideas. 

There are many different classes of trademarks depending on the goods or services you provide. 


But in any event, registration means you’ll have EXCLUSIVE right to that particular mark.

Sounds good right?


Tell me more!


They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but IP copycats are actually unlawful.  


The best way to protect your brand from these imitators is with a trademark.  You’ll gain exclusive control over your logo, words, taglines and other branding elements such as shapes, colours and sounds. And you’ll have the right to take legal action against anyone who tries to copy your trademark.  


Basically, your original idea is recognised and remains yours. 


Children’s clothing start-up Tutu By You registered their trademark to carve out an identity for their brand before they launched and protect themselves on their commercialisation journey.


Why should YOU do it?


If it’s not already obvious above, to protect your ideas! Duh!


A recent case in the UK found that a tiny company took on an internet giant (Meta, widely known as owner of Facebook & Instagram) for using the same name that they had previously trademarked.   You may have heard of Threads which is an online social media platform and social networking service.  Well, turns out the name ‘Threads’ was used (and trademarked!) by a tiny company who run a cloud-based intelligent message hub, which Meta was aware of. 


Fortunately, for the tiny company, they had trademarked ‘Threads’ back in 2012 and therefore Meta was given 30 days to stop using the word, otherwise they would take further action.    


If this scenario played out in Australia, the results would be much the same.  If you have a trademark registered in Australia, no one else in Australia can register the same mark for similar goods and services. 


Moral of the story – don’t let huge companies steal your ideas!  Make sure you have your marks trademarked ASAP. 

 

Even though IP rights registration can be complicated, it’s an investment in your business legacy.


Don’t risk it by attempting to file your own trademark  application.



Let us create the right IP strategy and application for your business.


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