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As you establish your business, you'll want to register a trademark to protect the distinct look and feel of your brand. Trademark lawyers can help guide you through this process, and offer support in many other areas.
A good starting point is to learn the ins and outs of trademark lawyers services. Read on to find out more.
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What is a trademark lawyer and when might I use one?
In Australia, there are both trademark lawyers and trademark attorneys. These legal professionals often work under the umbrella of Intellectual Property (IP) law and generally have experience in other areas of IP law such as patents, designs and copyright. Both can help you secure your brand identity.
Trademark law generally protects income-earning IP. The specifics of what IP covers can include:
- Letters, words and phrases
- Logos and images
- Sound, movement and shapes
- Scent; or,
- a combination of the above.
You might use a trademark lawyer when you're looking for specialist knowledge and advice on complex problems such as infringement, trademark opposition and application rejection.
A trademark lawyer can defend your trademark and represent you in court, while trademark attorneys assist with nearly all trademark issues but they cannot represent clients in court.
What services are offered by a trademark lawyer?
A trademark lawyer can offer a range of legal support, including:
Application and registration
- Ensure your trademark doesn't infringe on another trademark or patent, minimising the chances of opposition.
- Get help to draft and file trademark applications.
- Be recommended brand protection strategies, including how to monitor for infringement.
- Get advice on appropriate trademark use and infringement.
This type of lawyer will also:
- Enforce trademark law in Australia or overseas.
- Draft trademark licensing agreements for third party use.
- Defend you against trademark opposition, claims of non-use or opposing others' trademarks.
- Take trademark infringers to court; or represent you if you are being sued for trademark infringement.
- Monitor for trademark infringement.
How effective is a trademark lawyer?
Enlisting the help of a lawyer for your trademark application can bring you peace of mind that your brand identity's in safe hands. It can also help you to avoid costly and time-consuming legal procedures in the future.
Applying for a trademark can be a daunting task. Your application may be rejected if it contains errors and refunds are not typically given. A trademark lawyer will help to ensure your application is right the first time around and contains all the necessary information. They guide you through each stage of the process and will advise you on what to do if you receive an adverse report or opposition.
A trademark lawyer is usually crucial if you're considering legal action or are being accused of infringement. They will assist with disputes and defend you from wrongful litigation, potentially saving you many thousands of dollars in damages.
Do I need to engage a lawyer?
In Australia, it isn't compulsory to have a lawyer file your application. You can apply for a trademark online through IP Australia, the government agency that oversees IP rights and legislation.
It's important to do your homework before embarking on a trademark application yourself. Significant errors will lead to your application being denied and you will need to re-apply. Any mistakes can be costly. If your application is successful, be aware that you'll typically not be able to expand or change the goods and services protected under your trademark.
Hiring a lawyer helps to ensure your application is submitted correctly the first time around, letting you get through the process as efficiently as possible.
Here's some more information on online legal resources and free copyright lawyer quotes:
- Lawpath: Get a free legal document upon sign up. The essentials plan gives you access to more than 300 legal documents and unlimited revisions and edits. Membership costs $24 per month (billed monthly). Or save by choosing an annual plan.
- Wonder.Legal: Choose from 158 documents created by legal experts. There are no monthly fees to worry about – you just pay per document you download.
- Sprintlaw: Get free fixed-price quotes, access to lawyers, a legal document library and more. With Sprintlaw, you can pay an annual fee of $799 and enjoy 15% off fixed quote services with an annual membership.
- Net Lawman: Gain access to hundreds of templates and optional review service by a legal team.
- LegalVision. By signing up for a membership, you'll get unlimited downloads and unlimited calls with LegalVision's lawyers for $199 per month (billed monthly), for 12 months. Alternatively, you can pay per document without membership.
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