Developing a brand is such a critical element of your long term success. You want everyone to know your name and buy your brand, but what happens when your brand becomes the generic name for that product or service?

Genericism is the situation where a registered trademark becomes the industry name. It is the result of a brand becoming too successful. Is that the ultimate definition of irony?

Not sure what we mean? How about Biro, Xerox, Rollerblade, Thermos and Bandaid. These were once registered marks but are now merely a category label. Who wants to say roller ball pen, photocopier, in-line skates, insulated flask or adhesive dressing? The brand names are much cooler:

And who ‘searches the internet’? We Google it.

What about a having your turn on a ‘personal watercraft’? No, we blat it on a Jet Ski.

On the news at night do you hear the journalist describe a police situation where the baddie is disabled with an ‘electroshock weapon’. No, the villain was Tasered.

While this may appear to be the pinnacle of brand leadership, it can cause the opposite effect to category leadership. Without brand name exclusivity, a brand then has no competitive advantage when attempting to distinguish its product. This spells great news for your competitors.

The lesson learned is that from the commencement of your trademark, avoid using it as a noun or verb. A trademark is an adjective. And make sure you mange your communication strategy to ensure that you avoid genericism.

Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

As a Licensing company which deals with Brands and Trademarks, we often here these two words interchanged in the course of a conversation with a Client. While in some circumstances they can be the same, in a number of instances the elements of a brand are not a trademark.

Let us explain, and this may help you when you are chatting with us to protect your greatest assets – your brand! A brand is cultivated through years of careful planning, structure and communication. It is multi-dimensional, it has values, core elements, a style, a market position. There are rules associated with your brand and how this can be used to engage with consumers.

Of all the elements that compile your brand, there are specific ones that can be Trademarked to protect you from infringers and those who wish to pass off on your goodwill.

So which of your brand assets can you trademark? You may be surprised with some of these elements that are acceptable as trademarks in the regulations of the Trademarks Act 1995 for Australia.

The definition in the Law is that includes the following or any combination of the following: any letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound or scent.

It is a really comprehensive list. So now step back and look at all the elements that constitute your own Brand. Do you have a name [word], a logo [device], an unusual aspect of packaging, a specific colour that you use in your market? What about a sound – like a jingle that is absolutely renown as yours? Perhaps your brand is a unique smell.

A trademark is also tangible. It sits on your balance sheet as an asset. For a Brand Owner, this gem of knowledge can help with the value of your company. So perhaps you should really get that trademark programme underway to protect your assets and monetise your brand value.

Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

It is still staggering to us how frequently we meet Business Owners who do not deem it important to register their brand as a Trademark. You spend all day building your brand, creating a reputation, managing its presence in the market. Why not protect this hard work? And when we share this list, they can not hide their surprise. So here is a quick download of all the reasons why you should.

Just because you own your business name, a cool logo and have a domain name does not mean that you are protected from other businesses who want to promote themselves the same way. Registering you trademark is the fastest and most cost-effective way to gain legal exclusivity for the use of Your Name and Your Logo.

A brand has more financial value when it is is a Trademark. Yes, goodwill sits in your Balance Sheet but a Trademark is also accounted for as an Asset. Woohoo! Trademarks can help you value-up your business if you intend to sell it.

Trademark registration affords you that extra level of protection over your brand and increases your rights against those who infringe on on it.

Only a Trademark can be infringed upon and you are protected by the Trademarks Act 1995. When another person uses your trademark they are passing off and it may also be misleading and deceptive conduct under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. If you don’t have trademark registration then your only protection is Consumer Law.

The Trademarks registry is published online for anyone to view so it becomes difficult for an infringer to deny they had any knowledge of your mark.

Once you have a registered mark, helps to make it more difficult for future registration of confusing or conflicting market. You can oppose the registration of another mark which you feel may be confusingly similar to your registered mark.

If you do find a person using your mark, then can start the process with a “cease and desist” letter. If this needs to escalate, the process to take a person to court under the Trademarks Act 1995 is less expensive than for owners of unregistered trademarks as you need to prove reputation. This can be time consuming and expensive under “common law” rights.

Registration is for ten years then is renewable.

Your trademark has a defined territory, example Australia, so you can trade confidently and continue to grow your brand’s recognition in its core product or service offering.

You can control the use of your brand and trademark through licensing.

Protect yourself from infringement claims. Using your registered trademarks gives you a defense should another person try and impose an infringement claim on you.

Creating a brand is a really important element to your business value arsenal. Take heed of this list and register your mark with a Trademarks Attorney today.

Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

If you are not to sure about Trademarks and their importance as a business asset, then a quick overview of the current Kylie Minogue versus Kylie Jenner trademark opposition is a great way to start.

Her are the key points:

Kylie, our homegrown girl, has been around since the 1980’s and has trademarked the name KYLIE for a list of uses including sound recordings (Class 9), Jewellery (Class 14), printed matter (Class 16) and Toys (Class 28).

Jenner, if you don’t know is the sister of Kim Kardashian and a new celebrity but not to be underestimated as she was recently voted as one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014” by Time Magazine with an enviable Instagram following over 50 million. This Kylie has applied to trademark her name for entertainment in the nature of providing information by means of a global computer network in the fields of entertainment, fashion and pop culture (Class 41).

Minogue has filed opposition on the argument of confusion. She now has a battle on her hands to prove that she is “famous” in the US and that this opposition is warranted.

This case, if is proceeds does highlight to local Business Owners the need to plan their growth programmes before trademarking. It is important to register your brand on all of the correct classes and accurately describing the goods and services your business provides now and in the future. But remember, here in Australia you can lose your mark for non-use and applications must be filed in good faith.

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

If you are in business or have a terrific idea that will act as the launch your business, chances are that you already have a brand.

By definition, a trademark, is any ‘sign’ that you use to distinguish your products and/or services from those of other people. A ‘sign’ could be a name, slogan, logo, image, colour, shape, scent or even a sound (or a combination of these things).

For business owners, more often your potential trademark are names or logos. This is what you refer your consumers to by way of saying this is my product/service and you know that you are buying authentic. Registering your business name is not enough as it does not give you exclusive rights to use that name; however a trademark will.

The benefits of registering your ‘sign’ as a trademark include:

  • The right to use the name or logo, in connection with the goods or services nominated. Owning your business name and domain name is not enough.
  • The right to authorise the use of the name or logo in connection with the consumer goods or services. A must if you want to launch a licensing programme to generate new income.
  • The right to start legal action against people found to be infringing your rights.

Here at Untapped Agency, we manage the licensing programmes for iconic global and domestic brands. Thsi relies on licensing of their tradmarks to protect the Manufacturers and Retailers. It also allows consumers to ability to know they are buying genuine brands that they love.

Untapped Agency can register your Trademark with our Trademarks Attorney services. Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.