You’ve developed your trade mark, thought about the design, considered how your trade mark can promote your business and finally received confirmation that your trade mark is registered. It’s a great feeling!
Your trade mark is valuable to your business. Customers recognise and connect your business with your trade mark. For this reason, protecting your trademark after it is registered is vital in preventing its value from diminishing.
Similar Trade Marks
The value of your trade mark may diminish if a competitor’s trade mark is substantially identical or deceptively similar to your trade mark. The use of similar trade marks by competitors may result in your trade mark not being as easily distinguishable in the industry, or in customers becoming confused about which company is associated with which trade mark. If this occurs you may lose your market edge and the promotion of your brand and business may not be as effective.
What can be done?
If a competitor applies to register a trade mark that is substantially identical or deceptively similar to your trade mark there is a limited window in which you can oppose the registration of the trade mark. The window commences on the advertisement of the trade mark in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks and ends two months later. To oppose the registration of the trade mark you will need to file a notice of opposition during this window. As this window is small it is important to check the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks regularly.
If your trade mark right is being infringed by the use of an unregistered trade mark that is substantially identical or deceptively similar to your registered trade mark you may be able to commence an action for infringement. Note though that there are exceptions to commencing an action, including, if the user of the similar trade mark used the trade mark prior to the registration of your trade mark. You may also have an action ...