It’s a common misconception that registration of a business, company or domain name grants ownership and exclusive use of the name as a form of brand protection. This is wrong.
The registration of a business, company or domain name does not automatically grant any proprietary ownership rights in the name. At most it provides its registrant with a licenced right to use the name, and offers some evidence towards ownership, but this is by no means absolute.
For proper protection of your business or company name you should consider a trade mark registration.
Registered trade marks provide exclusivity and proprietary ownership of the registered “mark” whereas business, company or domain names provide no protection and serve only as a way to identify your business.
You can register a trade mark over any unique features that you use, such as letters, numbers, words, phrases, slogans, shapes, logos or pictures. Aside from standard words and logos, examples of interesting trade mark registrations include the scent of cinnamon in furniture and the sound jingle for “Ah McCain, You’ve Done It Again”.
Protecting your trade mark will protect the identity of your goods and services, prevent others from imitating your brand and potentially add value to your business.
Clifford Gouldson Lawyers can assist with preliminary advice regarding the registrability of your trade mark and any logos before you decide to register any trade marks. With filing fees starting at $400 per class, for a 10 year registration period, renewable forever, registering a trade mark is a valuable investment to protect your business.
For further advice on this topic please contact our Intellectual Property team.