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  • #987344
    Natalie Khoo
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    Hi fellow Flying Solo readers,

    I rebranded my business with the new name Avion Communications in February this year. I made an application to trademark the name (no logo or imagery, just the name) and it has been approved by IP Australia. Now I just need to pay the $300 fee. Should I bother, or will it be unlikely someone will try to take the name away from me?

    Just wondering whether other small businesses out there have trademarked their business name? And what your thoughts are?

    Thanks, Natalie

    #1162234
    affgar
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    I don’t understand why you would want to trademark your business name?
    Trademark could help global naming rights issues … if that really matters?

    If you have your business name paid for & accepted by ASIC that is your name .. Another business or company cannot use that name in Australia. They can use fairly closely related name though.

    Please correct me if I am wrong …. but
    I thought you would only trademark product names & brand logos or closely related catch phrases to do with your product or service.

    Copyright protects what you create.
    Business name register tells you whether you can take ownership of that business or company name or whether it is in use.

    How much was approval by IP Australia?

    Good luck! :)

    #1162235
    imaginecreative
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    Hi Natalie

    I’m not sure you need to go to the extend of Trademarking your name if your business will only be done here in Australia.

    Having said that, from my experience with ASIC registrations there are some issues to be aware of.

    Affgar is correct in saying that another business cannot use your name within Australia. This only applies to businesses in your registered category. Should someone else in a different category wish to register that name – it then becomes open season and all kinds of variations will appear.

    Whilst it may not be necessary – a $300 investment in preventing someone else from using your name (in any category) may not be a bad idea.

    Hope that helps?

    Good luck

    #1162236
    bees
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    I trademarked my business name years ago when the business names register was a state by state thing and a website suddenly appeared as ‘coming soon’ with the exact same name.

    Now that the business names register is Australia wide, I’d not be so concerned. But still, you’ve done all the work, you’re half way there….perhaps 300 is not the end of the world for that peace of mind?

    #1162237
    Qinnie(OzFairTrade)
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    Hi

    I did the exact same thing last year, when I rebranded my business and applied for trademark. The only thing was, I really had no idea what I was doing and my application was rejected because Oz Fair Trade was too ‘general’ and it hadn’t been in operation for a reasonable period of time. So I lost $200 and learned a lesson.

    In your case, since it’s approved, maybe it is worth going all the way, assuming that you already paid $200 application fee?

    #1162238
    Steffen Daleng
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    I have a small rule of thumb: Don’t “patent” something if you cant/won’t back your rights up with the dollar bills needed in a courtroom as a serious case.
    Following rights can be highly expensive if you want to pursue through courts and lawyers.

    I would look at it differently though:

    You already have the Domain, you have the Facebook page.
    So Look at it this way. Your investment in your social media profile and your broad reach, will also serve as discouragement for others to pick the same name. Why would they start out with something they can’t market themselves with on any platform – not even search engines?

    I think you are good as is, Natalie.

    #1162239
    MPSwebprojects
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    I always suggest people look at it this way;

    If I took your name tomorrow and tried to start up a business using it, would you be prepared to take the legal action (and incur the costs involved) to stop me?

    If the answer is probably not, then you are wasting your time with a trademark. This applies even more-so to patents. Basically, if you are questioning spending the $300 now, you aren’t likely to be in a position to defend the trademark anytime soon.

    #1162240
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi All,

    Of course I am going to vote for “pay the $300 and finalise your trademark” but I thought I would explain a little further…

    Everyone has focused on the issue of someone else using your name and whether you’d be prepared to fight/pay to stop them. There are other rights and benefits that come with trademark registration that I think make it worth $300 to finalise… For example:

    * the right granted to USE your trademark for the goods/services you have nominated; business/company registration does not guarantee this right to you. By holding a registered trademark another registered trademark owner cannot take infringement action against you; If another registered trademark owner was to allege you are infringing on their rights (if you choose not to finalise your trademark), it would be a fairly safe bet that it would cost more than $300 for you to defend yourself against the allegations, or to re-brand if you were forced to do so.

    * The right to license use of the trademark if you ever wished to do so;

    * Recorded registered ownership should you ever wish to sell the ‘brand’

    * Ability to take action against other people if you choose to do so – as others have said. If you don’t have a registered trademark your position in stopping others becomes much more difficult and often more expensive

    There are also other benefits that come with registered trademarks, which may not be formal ‘rights’ but still worth considering. I wrote an article on this a while a go for Flying Solo that you can read here if of interest

    #1162241
    Natalie Khoo
    Member
    • Total posts: 67
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    Hi all. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this discussion – your
    thoughts were very much appreciated. Upon reviewing some of the responses,
    I think I will proceed with paying the $300. It’s a relatively small fee
    for peace of mind and the ability to use the name as I wish. And I guess if
    someone wants to take me to court I will cross that bridge when I come to
    it! But as mentioned, hopefully that will not happen as I already own the
    domain and Facebook page. Jacqui, your article was very helpful too. Thanks
    for pointing that out. Cheers everyone, Natalie

    #1162242
    gidgetmedia
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    • Total posts: 19
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    Hi Natalie,

    I was wondering the same thing when I started Gidget Media! I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth it; however, after reading these posts (particularly Jacqui’s) I’m thinking again!

    A couple of questions:

    • What’s the website you register at?
    • How much did it cost in total to register?
    • How do you feel now that you’ve registered (assuming you went through with it)?

    Kate :)

    #1162243
    JacquiPryor
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    • Total posts: 2,344
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    Hi Kate,

    If you wish to attend to your own trademark registration you would do so through http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au.

    The minimum cost will be $420.00. This is split over two stages though. $120 to begin with, and then $300 to finalise once approved by the government office. When you register trademarks you do so under classes of goods/services. The cost is per class that you need. For your services you might need a couple of these classes. For example, one that would cover any sort of marketing service (including copywriting for promotional purposes), but perhaps also a second class for web design and development; and even a third for copywriting services not for advertising purposes.

    EDIT – Once you’ve paid the above fees, your trademark is in place for 10 years -so, no annual charges.

    In my response to Natalie’s post I linked to an article about benefits of registering your trademarks. Now, this one might assist – things to keep in mind when registering a trademark particularly if you’re going to DIY

    Hope this assists :)

    #1162244
    gidgetmedia
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    • Total posts: 19
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    Thanks Jacqui! Your article (and advice) is all extremely helpful. If I get into trouble I’ll certainly look into employing your services!

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