Your brand. It’s important. But brand positioning is often the first ‘fail’ people make when entering into the business world.
Why is this? Because most people don’t understand the value that a good brand or trademark adds to their business.
So where are people and businesses going wrong? Many people are under the assumption that the best trademark is one that tells their customers what they do or provide, for example 5-star for cleaning or accommodation services, Home Cuts for hairdressing, Dazzling Jewels for jewellery or Blend for coffee products.
The inherent problem with these types of trademarks is that they are not distinctive. While they might sound easily identifiable, they often get lost among the plethora of similarly named businesses (was that Home Cuts or House Cuts?).
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In other words, how does a customer tell your business apart from someone using similar wording to describe their goods or services?
This is why it is essential to choose a strong trademark that will help set your business apart.
From a legal standpoint, a strong brand is easier to protect and enforce. Descriptive and generic trademarks are difficult, if not impossible, to register, without years of use and reputation to back them up. Proving this, while lucrative for lawyers and trademark attorneys, will be a nightmare for you.
Equally, enforcement of descriptive or generic trademarks is fraught with difficulty and does not always prevail in the result you want – that is to stop another party using the same or similar trademark on the same or similar goods or services. This can have significant and damaging consequences to your business, reputation and profits.
Therefore, it makes sense to invest a small amount at the outset to make sure your perfect trademark is a good one in the eyes of the law also. This will ensure that you have a strong footing to protect your brand as well as to enforce your rights if you encounter an infringer and save on costs in the long run.
Griffith Hack’s startup search packages provide advice on your trademark and whether it has a good chance of being accepted for registration.
By Shannon Fati, Trade Mark Attorney, Griffith Hack
Griffith Hack is one of Australia’s leading IP firms, working to build, protect and grow your business through IP. Griffith Hack offers a unique, multidisciplinary team, bringing together technical, legal and financial perspectives on IP.