What is a Trade Mark

A trade mark is a vital part of commerce and is used to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. 
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 exclusive rights to commercially use, license or sell it for the goods and services that it is registered under.

Frequently Asked Questions about Trade Marks

In order to give you the basic understanding of trade marks and their role in brand recognition and the promotion of certain companies and products, Sandercock & Cowie has collated a number of frequently asked questions.

  1. What is the purpose of a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods and services from someone else's and is enforceable under intellectual property (IP) law.
  2. Do I have to register a trade mark? You don’t technically have to register your trade mark, however, it can be expensive and time consuming if you run into issues of misrepresentation further down the track. Sandercock & Cowie recommend discussing registration of your trade mark as an early preventative and security measure. 
  3. How long is my trade mark valid for? A trade mark can have an infinite life dependent on renewal basis and longevity of the business, but initial registration lasts for up to 10 years, with the option to renew for another 10 years after that. You must use your trade mark to ensure it is not lost on the grounds of “non-use”. 
  4. How can I get a trade mark? In order to obtain a trade mark for your business or company, you will first need to consult Sandercock & Cowie. After preliminary discussions relating to style and individuality of your chosen trade mark, our team will promptly apply on your behalf and set the wheels in motion. The application process generally takes between 9 and 24 months, depending on whether contentious issues arise during the examination process. 
  5. How much will it cost me? The cost of applying for a trade mark varies depending on the class, type of goods and/or services, and the number of potential trade marks you are endeavouring to register. Costs start from $670 for filing a single application in a single class.

For comprehensive information about the conception, application and usage of trade marks, meet with or call one of our attorneys at Sandercock & Cowie +61 3 5995 9004