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Do I really have to register my trademarks?


Recently, I found myself assisting Clinton Swaine at Kerwin Rae’s Business and Marketing Masterclass in Sydney and found myself answering the same question. “Is it absolutely necessary to register my trademarks or other intellectual property?”  It’s a common one, particularly among the entrepreneurial markets.  My answer was simple and probably obvious.

“No, of course it’s not necessary, but it may be prudent to do so. Here’s why.”

By law, a business or person is not required to register their Trademark or other intellectual property (IP) with the Australian Government office. However, registration is a prudent and pro-active cornerstone vital to creating brand longevity and stability fundamental to creating a start up business and building it into a successful enterprise. Registration with the Government office is a necessary tool in protecting investments in products and services today and for the life of a business.

Businesses that do not bother to register the intellectual property associated with their brand for existing or even planned future products or services are at great risk and needlessly surrender the far reaching benefits that exist for anyone who wants register their IP properly, according to the law.

Many business owners do not register IP because they’re frightened of incurring expensive legal bills or don’t know where else to turn, and as a result many hide an ever present foreboding anxiety because they’re worried someone will “steal” their idea before they actually protect it.

The main advantage of intellectual property registration is peace of mind: it reduces the risk of another business intruding on your “space” by using the same or similar brands, products or services. If the intruding business were to register IP for the same brand, product or service the real possibility arises that you would be barred by law from continuing to use your own brand.

However, if you had trademarked your brand or registered the intellectual property related to the products or services you offer you would be able to fully and effectively defend yourself against any rival or competitor found to be using your intellectual property intentionally, or by mistake.

Complete IP and Australian trademarks were founded to raise awareness of Intellectual Property needs and to be truly helpful to anyone with any questions regarding Intellectual Property. We aim to provide a unique service to our clients, where they can contact one place and have all their Intellectual Property needs met professionally by a team that is unreservedly passionate about Intellectual Property.

Alan Clark is the Founder and Managing Director of Complete IP.