1. What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property encompasses a broad variety of legal rights relating to creative and non-tangible output. The most common types of intellectual property include:

  • Trade Marks: These includes any name, logo, tagline or other sign used to differentiate your products or services from other traders. Trade Mark rights are based on first use but should also be secured through registration through a qualified Trade Marks Attorney.
  • Copyright: This can encompass any literary or artistic work you create, such as books, music, videos, photographs, even source code! Copyright does not require registration in Australia, however some other countries (such as the USA) do have copyright registration systems.
  • Designs: Encompasses the look of a particular product, such as furniture, vehicles or fashion items. Designs must be registered in order to be afforded protection.
  • Patents: These protect the functionality of an invention or process. Patents must also be registered to be enforceable and should be prepared by a qualified Patent Attorney.

2. How do I protect my IP?

Protection of IP is a complex area and should be managed by an experienced IP lawyer or attorney. In many cases, IP rights can be self filed, however, without a considered filing strategy in place, this can result in unregistrable or ultimately unenforceable applications being lodged. Government fees for filing trade marks, designs and patents are not generally refundable if the application is unsuccessful.

3. Is my Trade Mark registrable?

When assessing your trade mark application, there are two main hurdles which may prevent registration:

  • Whether your trade mark is directly descriptive of your goods and services. In other words, if your trade mark simply describes some feature or characteristic of your product or service (eg. AFFORDABLE ACCOUNTING or LUXURY APPAREL) it is likely to receive ground of objection initially. These types of trade mark may however be registered in the long term once sufficient brand reputation has been established. For these types of marks, we can develop long term filing strategies to achieve registration once the trade mark has achieved enough market recognition.
  • Similarity of the mark with other registered or pending trade marks. Grounds for rejection can be raised if your trade mark is too similar to another (not necessarily identical) and covers the same, similar or closely related goods or services. If similar marks are identified, there may be strategies available to get around those citations, which a qualified Trade Marks Attorney will be able to identify.

4. Can I register my Trade Mark worldwide?

There is no universal trade mark which covers every jurisdiction. Rather trade mark rights must be acquired country by country. Most countries are covered by the Madrid Protocol international registration system which allows domestic trade mark registration to be extended to other countries through a streamlined application process. This is often a more economical way to extend the reach of your trade marks to multiple countries at the same time. Otherwise, direct applications to individual countries can also be made. We can assist with both those filing options.

5. Does registering my business/company name protect me?

No. A business or company name provides you with a vehicle to trade under but it does not provide any protection or entitlement to use the name in connection with provision of any good or service. Separate trade mark registration is required to secure those rights.

6. I’ve received an infringement letter. Now what?

Don’t panic! Receiving an infringement letter can be scary, however you should not take any action or respond to a letter without first seeking your own independent legal advice. If a tight deadline for compliance has been set, it is OK to seek further time to obtain proper legal advice if needed, and there are costs consequences for litigants or practitioners who launch proceedings too quickly without giving the other side enough opportunity to be appraised of their rights.

If you have received a letter, you should contact us immediately and we would be happy to set out a plan of attack for addressing the dispute as well as fixed costs to implement any recommended actions.

7. How do you charge?

Our philosophy is that confidence should be earned, not assumed. For that reason, we don’t charge for initial consultations, initial strategy preparation or for ongoing consultations and follow ups with you. We will take the time to learn about you and your business before we put together a tailored strategy suited to your situation. All our professional fees are fixed price and agreed with you upfront to avoid any billing surprises. We also have a range of fixed cost trade mark protection packages for your consideration.

Contact Y Intellectual Property Today

If you’re facing a Copyright infringement case, Y Intellectual Property can provide the support you need and guide the issue to it’s best possible resolution. We offer fixed fee and flexible pricing options to meet your needs. For more information on our services, contact us today. Call now on 03 8371 0012 to book a consultation with our lead Copyright and Designs lawyer Andrew Petale.

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