So, what are the advantages of a trade mark?
First, your trade mark is a business asset. You can sell or license it, which could potentially bring you an income stream even after you retire. You can also use it as a form of security. It will add to your business’s value if you eventually decide to sell your company.
A good trade mark will increase in value as your business grows over time.
In the modern economy, trade marks and their associated goodwill may turn out to be your largest asset. This is especially true for the services sector, and for marketing-savvy businesses.
By registering your trade mark, you block any competitors from registering or using it. Otherwise, one of them could potentially apply to register your brand as their own trade mark. You’d have an expensive time resolving that – or maybe even have to rebrand, and risk losing your position in the market.
Registering your trade mark gives you exclusive rights to sell certain goods and services under that trade mark. You can control the use of your brand, and stop others from using it.
Your registered trade mark also places the public on notice of your rights. That tends to be an effective deterrent for would-be infringers. At the same time, in Australia registration also provides an initial defence if others accuse you of infringing their trade marks.
It’s much easier to stop counterfeiters if your trade mark is registered. Without registration, taking action against counterfeiters would require you to prove misleading and deceptive conduct or passing off. This is often both difficult and costly (in terms of money and time).
The registration process itself can reveal existing trade marks that you might accidentally infringe. This gives you time to take corrective action and avoid a costly dispute.