Trade Mark Tips – How to Choose a Trade Mark
Some trade mark issues to consider when choosing a new name for your business or product.
When picking a fresh business or product name, avoid similarities with existing Australian trade marks (pending or registered) that cover goods or services like yours. Also remember that although good from a marketing perspective, a name that describes what you’re offering likely won’t be registrable as a trade mark.
Can I register my brand name as a trade mark?
Firstly, ask yourself:
Is it likely my competitors will need to use this name to describe their own goods or services?
If the answer is no, you’re off to a good start!
Next, carry out searches for your chosen brand to see whether it will conflict with earlier trade mark rights. A registered Trade Marks Attorney can help you with this.
A few other points to remember when choosing a new trade mark:
- Aim for invented words that don’t directly describe the goods or services you’re selling;
- Avoid names that refer to a business or manufacturing location. Other traders may legitimately wish to describe their own goods or services using this type of name;
- Words often used to describe favourable features of goods or services are great marketing tools, but aren’t so great as trade marks; and
- Common Australian surnames are not usually registrable as trade marks, unless represented in some unusual manner.
What if I’m already using a descriptive name?
If you’re already using a name that is descriptive of your goods or services, you may still be able to secure a trade mark over your brand. Ultimately, it’ll depend on the nature and breadth of your use. Your Trade Marks Attorney is the best person to give you advice on this.