Friday, July 22, 2011

Protecting IP

I wrote this post a few months ago but waited till my trademarks were approved..the letter came in the post today! This approach has been gleaned from my experience......

Protecting your brand is paramount - especially when you are as transparent as I am!  And using names, logo designs, tags lines and other graphics that are not already in use goes without $aying. There are several areas you must check simultaneously to ensure you are not stepping on anyones toes and to ensure you cover yourself and $trengthen your brand. It is also good to know that when you start using a name/trading in a market then you actually have rights to it!

That is why it is really hard & important at a start up stage to a fair idea on what territories you will be selling to in the future so you can secure that market or be able to legally trade in it.

1) Registered Domains: I did a search last month when I revealed my brand name and registered a few variations. For about $12 for 12 months per name, it is not a huge investment.

As I wrote the sales & marketing strategy I am came up with some promotional ideas that I think will work really well. I have checked out domain availability and can see that this must be a relatively untouched area  (ie i got .com's I wanted) as i was able to add all these delicious terms to my brand portfolio (cost in total $102 for 24 months!)

Obviously i can't sit on these names, I must use them or loose them.

2) Trademarks.  Bottom line is, every region in the world has a different register and each class you register in costs more money. You can do it yourself or use an expert but, bottom line it add$ up. You can register words or a word mark &/or tag line. 

Obviously, my first territory to sell product will be Australia. Europe - especially english speaking UK is attractive and thankfully falls under EU umbrella. As for Asia - yes I want to sell here in the future - China, Japan, where else? As for the USA .....the world is your & some one else's oyster!

Interesting - things have got simpler in the last decade! I just found out that in 2001 the Madrid commenced which means I can apply for trademarks to those countries that are members: good news - my targets all are! See  &  for a list of the member countries. 

Back to Oz  - IP Australia  is the place for trademarks: There is a Head Start area for first time users...looks good. I have a little experience on trademarks so I am pretty confident that my searches have turned up nothing that will compete so I am using the online facility to pay $120 per trademark per class and then will pay a $250 registration once they are check & hopefully approved.
luk beautifood as a graphic in class 3 is the first cab off the rank. 

3.) Name Search site lists all Australian ABN registered entities whether they be a name, company   I have checked all my words and are clear.

I hope this gives you a little clarity if you are wondering where to start.


Lisa said...

Hi Cindy - thanks for a great post and congrats on getting your trademarks approved!

I'm just about to start an application via TM Headstart.

Cindyluk said...

tx Lisa. The (any) trade mark now goes public for 3 months for others to make comment/refusals against there is still a wait period but it is really unique so don't believe it will be a issue.

Sing out/email me if you want talk thru yours / want to know more.

C :)

Melinda said...

Thanks for the great info Cindy. I'm about to register a TM as well and will use the TM headstart ... if all goes well initially the 3 months will be a nervous wait for me! Finding your blog such a useful pot of info for a biz startup!

Cindyluk said...

Mel - after the corporate world you must find it so different having to do everything yourself. Good luck on TM.