Protecting Image & Reputation - Commercial Considerations
For many companies, the brands or styles they adopt in relation to their goods, services or business can be their most important asset in drawing customers, particularly consumers, to use them or buy their products or services rather than those of a competing company. When starting a new business or launching a new product or service, choice of name, logo and overall image are important considerations.
The law protects your commercial and trading image in two ways.
1. By means of registered trademark.
2. By use of a passing off action as a means of protecting unregistered marks.
In either case, protectability of a mark, symbol or other sign depends on distinctiveness, either inherent in the mark itself or acquired through use, thereby establishing an association in the mind of the customer between the mark and your product, service or business.
When used in relation to products and services, a mark may be registrable if it is:in some way distinctive;
is capable of distinguishing goods and services;
and can be represented graphically.
Potentially registrable marks include words, names, designs, titles, numerals or the shape of goods and their packaging.
It is always desirable, wherever possible, to obtain a registered trademark or as registered marks are easier to enforce in that customer confusion generally need not be demonstrated.