We all know by now that protecting your brand name by registering a trade mark is an essential step for all businesses to take – large or small. The cost to apply is greatly justified by the protection you receive through having a registered trade mark.
I have seen many start-ups who are initially reluctant to take this first step because they feel that their business is still small and are operating on a shoestring budget. Some businesses believe the myth that registering their company name, business name or domain name is enough to protect them – but this is far from the case.
Just because you have registered that “.com” or “.com.au” does not mean you have covered all your bases! Anyone can register a domain name, and with the plethora of new domain extensions available, including “.melbourne” and “.sydney”, it is very easy for someone to see your brand and register their own domain with your brand under one of these new extensions.
This can cause issues for you if they try to operate under that domain or if they try to sell it back to you at an exuberant price. If these issues arise, having a trade mark on your side means you can exercise your rights under the trade mark – in particular, you have access to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) or Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) to have the breaching domain(s) taken down.
Make sure you have a trade mark registered so that you have peace of mind, knowing that your brand is protected and that you have a means of action in the worst case scenario.