Intellectual Property

Advice on registration of trade marks

A trade mark is a means to identify a product or service. A good trade mark can distinguish a business from other traders. In Australia, a trade mark and the registration of a trademark is governed by the Trade Marks Act 1995 and administered by the Trade Marks Office.

In accordance with section 17 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 a trade mark is a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person. A trade mark is not a business name, company name or domain name.

A trade mark does not need to be unique to be a registered trade mark. However, it does need to be used or it can be removed from the register for non-use and anyone can apply for removal of a trademark for non-use. The public policy positions surrounding this “use it or lose it” approach is to discourage people or companies from attempting to register multiple trade marks to prevent other traders using them

Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experienced in providing legal advice and services in relation to trademarks including:

  • Providing legal advice and services in respect of a trademark dispute
  • Assisting in the application process to register a trademark
  • Assisting in an application to use a certified trade mark

If you require legal advice in relation to trade marks, please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.

Advice on copyright

Copyright is a form of intellection property which protects the form or manner which an idea or information is expressed. Copyright is not a right that attaches to or protects the information or the idea itself.

In Australia, the Copyright Act 1968 governs the existence of copyright material. Notwithstanding the fact that certain business offering copyright protection or registration services of copyright for a fee, there is no formal registration process or formalities in place for the protection of copyright. Copyright protection is automatically attached to an original work at the time in which it is created.

Once a copyrighted work comes into existence, there are exclusive economic rights that are provided to the creator of the work, for example the right to copy and publish. Additionally, the creators of the copyrighted material are also afforded a bundle of non-economic rights or moral rights in respect of the integrity and attribution of authorship.

Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experienced in providing legal advice and services in relation to copyright, including:

Providing legal advice in respect of the unauthorised distribution of copyrighted material Providing advice and representation in legal proceedings involving copyright disputes

If you require legal advice in relation to copyright, please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.

Business names

Business names refers to the title under which a person or entity conducts a business.

Generally speaking in Australia you will need register a business name if you carry on a business within Australia. There are exceptions in circumstances where:

your operating names if the same as your first name and surname
you operate in a partnership and your operating name is the same as all the partners’ names
you are a registered company and your operating name is the same as your registered company name

Importantly registering a business name does not provide you with exclusive ownership of your business name or prevent other people registering or using similar names. In order to gain exclusive use, you will need to register it as a trademark (which Rowe Bristol Lawyers can help with (we should provide a link to trademarks).

In order to further protect your business name, you may wish to purchase a domain name in the name of your business. A domain name is a unique electronic address and can be purchased yourself or through and internet service provider.

Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experience in providing advice to clients in relation to business names, including:

protection of business names
choosing and creating the correct company structure to suit your needs and protect your interests
disputes

If you require legal advice in this area, please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.