How to Protect Your Brand

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By Hammond Nguyen Turnbull solicitors

Intellectual Property is a vital step in ensuring your business is protected.

There are several kinds of intellectual property including Copyright, which protects the expression of ideas in written form, and Patents, which offer protection for new inventions. This article will explain the requirements and processes for obtaining a Trademark for your business, and why you may want to do so.

Why Trademark?

Trademarks are used to distinguish your goods and services from those of another business. Trademarks are important for all businesses to identify unique products or services or your business name and logo. A trademark must distinguish your business from other traders and is an important part of your branding.

What can I Trademark?

Trademarks can be used for protection outside your brand name and logo. You can register trademarks for certain aspects of your products which may be distinctive and/or any recognisable features that your consumers may associate with your business.

The material that you wish to trademark must be able to distinguish your goods and services from that of other traders. As a result, it must not contain information or material that is likely to be required by other traders. For example, if you run a business that sells candles you would not be able to trademark your business name “The Candle Shop”. This is because it would be unfair to other businesses that sell candles, as they would most likely need to use the word “candle” in their name too.

Trademarks must be registered with IP Australia. The registration system is called the Australian Trademark Online Search System (ATMOSS). Before assessing whether you can Trademark your material, you would need to check ATMOSS to ensure that someone has not already obtained a trademark for the material, or material that is deceptively similar to your material. Your trademark will be rejected if it is too similar to one that has already been registered on ATMOSS.

Process of obtaining a Trademark

Once you submit your Trademark Application the examiners from IP Australia will assess it. This will involve a process by which the examiners consider the validity of your trademark application by using certain criteria as per the above. This process can take between 3 and 4 months to assess whether your application will be granted, however you are protected from the date which you file your trademark application if it is ultimately accepted.

Once accepted, your trademark will be placed on ATMOSS where it will remain for 10 years. This means that during this time (from the date of lodgement) if another business uses your trademark, or something that is deceptively similar to your trademark, you can pursue them for breaching your intellectual property rights.

Where do I start?

If you are considering registering a Trademark, or have a question about your intellectual property rights, do not hesitate to contact Hammond Nguyen Turnbull. We have experience in registering trademarks, providing advice in intellectual property issues and liaising with IP Australia to ensure that you are protected.

Cassandra Sweeney
Hammond Nguyen Turnbull
Suite 3, Level 6, 9 George Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
P: 02 9687 6880


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Legal Practitioners employed by Hammond Nguyen Turnbull are members of the scheme.

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