Clients often make the mistake of thinking their registered Business Name or Company Name gives them the exclusive right to use that name in the marketplace. The truth is that whilst your registered Business Name or Company Name will protect your interests in that name to an extent, a registered trade mark will offer a far greater array of protection to not only your name, but your brand as a whole.
What is a Trademark?
A trade mark is a right that is granted for a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture and/or aspect of packaging. A registered trade mark is legally enforceable and gives you the exclusive right to commercially use, licence or sell the trademark in relation to the goods and services that it is registered under.
As we saw earlier this week, Swiss railway operator SBB has struck a deal with Apple for the use of SBB’s trademarked station clock design. SBB had previously launched a considerable claim against Apple given the similarity between SBB’s clock and the clock design used on Apple’s new iPhone5 operating system. Each of the clock designs appear below, and the similarities are quite evident:
SBB had the foresight to trade mark their station clock design a number of years ago. It would seem this made all the difference in the end given a license agreement was eventually struck between the parties for Google to continue using the design, but only by paying an undisclosed license fee for that use.
What are the implications for your business?
The moral of the story is that if your brand is worth value to your business, it is worth protecting. But just because your intellectual property is registered doesn’t mean it can’t be copied unlawfully.
Your rights won’t enforce themselves and need to be rigorously defended, in Court if necessary, if your intellectual property has been exploited by a third party.
Please contact me if you have any questions in relation to registering your brand as a trade mark.
The information provided in this article is for general information and educative purposes in summary form on legal topics which is current at the time it is published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, FC Lawyers cannot accept responsibility for any errors, including those caused by negligence, in the material. We make no representations, statements or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information and you should not rely on it. You are advised to make your own independent inquiries regarding the accuracy of any information provided on this website. FC Lawyers does not guarantee, and accepts no legal responsibility whatsoever arising from or in connection to the accuracy, reliability, currency, correctness or completeness of any material contained in this article. Links to third party websites or articles does not constitute any endorsement or approval of those sites or the owners of those sites. Nothing in this article should be construed as granting any licence or right for you to use that content. You should consult the third party’s terms and conditions of use in relation to any third-party content. FC Lawyers disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including liability for negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way. Appropriate legal advice should always be obtained in actual situations.
Prefer to get in touch?
With offices in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Sydney, our team is well equipped to provide both advice and support across a broad range of legal areas.