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Are your Trade Marks Under our Watchful Eye?

By March 31, 2017IP Insights

Monitoring your trade mark to guard against copiers and unauthorized users is required to ensure that the integrity of your trade mark is maintained. Misuse of your trade mark could result in damage to your reputation, confusion by consumers and loss of market position, and down-turn of sales and profitability.

This type of monitoring is called a trade mark watch. Monitoring the use of your trade mark can include periodical searching the internet particularly industry relevant websites, business name and domain name registers, and searches through relevant news, journal and magazine articles both online and in printed formats. Part of the monitoring process includes periodically searching the official Australian Trade Mark Office Register to identify similar Trade Marks in respect of the same goods or services or closely related goods or services. The level of searching will depend on the trade mark itself and the commercial environment in which it is used.

An advantage of having a trade mark watch conducted is that our watching service will identify any similar Trade Marks being filed by other parties and provide you with the opportunity to promptly take steps to prevent them from using similar Trade Marks and stop registration of similar Trade Marks. Essentially the watch can identify misuse of the same trade mark or use of a similar trade mark at an early stage and thereby enable appropriate action to be taken to limit any possible damage. There is a better chance of fixing the problem if action is taken early rather than later when the infringing trade mark may have gained some usage in the marketplace or trade mark registration.

The watching service can be conducted on your Trade Marks in Australia and New Zealand. If your relevant market is not Australia or New Zealand, we can conduct a watch in an overseas country through our network of Associates (registered trade mark attorneys in overseas countries).

The flip-side to the watch for your Trade Marks is a watch on Trade Marks that your competitors have and you wish to monitor their “movements”. This type of watch is called a competitor trade mark watch and is very useful as an early indicator of a new product or service to be launched by your competitors.

Maintaining a watch on your Trade Marks will help to ensure that you keep control of your brand and prevent it from being misused and diluted as a result of others using conflicting Trade Marks. Maintaining the integrity of your trade mark is the key to effectively building value behind your trade mark in relation to your goods or services.

Ensure that your precious Trade Marks are not left vulnerable to attack by your competitors and that you’re maximizing the commercial and financial potential of your IP assets.

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