Once your mark is registered the work does not stop there – you must remember to maintain your mark by using it properly and renewing it every 10 years.
Once you have a registered trade mark you have the exclusive right to use that mark on the goods/services covered by the registration. You can also use your mark with the registered trade mark symbol ®. The TM symbol can be used for pending applications or for marks that you treat as trade marks may not have filed an application.
Owning a trade mark registration means it is easier for you to take infringement action against anyone using the same or similar mark, for the same or similar goods or services. You can still take infringement action without a trade mark registration, however you must rely on common law rights such as misleading and deceptive conduct or passing off which is much more difficult to prove and can be very expensive.
An Australian trade mark registration is ongoing but you must remember to renew it every ten years for it to remain active.
You should also remember that a trade mark must be used in the course of trade otherwise it could be vulnerable to a removal action on the basis of non-use. A non-use action allows traders to challenge registered trade marks that the owner may no longer be interested in using and therefore clearing the Register for their own mark. Non-use actions also help to prevent trade mark owners from owning multiple trade marks as a blocking tactic which then prevents anyone else from using them.
Should you have any questions on your trade mark and how best to protect it, please contact us for assistance.