Even if you have a registered trade mark you need to maintain and protect it. Without vigilance, infringing marks can be registered and can impact your business.
Previously in our article about business names, we have discussed the importance of protecting your brand with trade marks, in addition to having a registered business name (a business name alone does not provide protection for your brand name!).
Once you have a registered trade mark, the next question is – how do you keep up to date with new trade marks that might encroach on your business and infringe your trade mark?
A trade mark watching service provides frequent reports about new trade mark applications that may be similar to your existing trade mark and in similar classes of goods and services. You’re able to select how broad you would like the coverage to be, for example, if you only have a registered trade mark in Australia then you could limit the results to Australia, or you could broaden it to cover global applications.
Imagine spending the effort, time and money in establishing a reputation for your brand and registering your trade mark, only to have a competitor try to leverage off your brand by registering a similar trade mark to yours.
Timing is key when it comes to trade marks. Trade mark watching service reports can be invaluable as there is normally only a short timeframe of a few months to file an opposition against a trade mark application – this timeframe is especially tight given that gathering evidence and preparing the documentation for an opposition can be quite time consuming. If you miss a deadline and an opposing trade mark is registered it is much harder to remove rather than opposing during the application phase.
Gladwin Legal offers full trade mark watching services in Australia and globally. Our service not only includes provision of the watching reports, but we also filter out any irrelevant reports, provide a legal perspective for contentious reports and we can even manage the entire opposition process if required – making your life easier and giving you peace of mind that advice is only an email or phone call away.