Trade Mark Tips – How to Choose a Trade Mark

Here you’ll learn about 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:

  1. Aim for invented words that don’t directly describe the goods or services you’re selling;
  2. 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;
  3. Words often used to describe favourable features of goods or services are great marketing tools, but aren’t so great as trade marks; and
  4. 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?

Don’t panic!

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.  Your Trade Marks Attorney is the best person to give you advice on this.

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