There are many instances where consulting a trade marks attorney is not only helpful, but essential.

From issues of copyright, trade mark searches and registration, protecting intellectual property to registering domain names, a trade marks attorney can advise clients on a wide range of matters relating to trade mark law.

By way of background, it’s important to note that in order to become a registered trade marks attorney with the official Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board, an individual has to meet exacting academic and knowledge requirements.  They are regulated by a strict code of conduct and are required to complete mandatory continuing professional education every year.

Registered trade marks attorneys are not lawyers, nor are they the same as patent attorneys.  Different qualifications are required for a patent attorney and a trade marks attorney.  Both complete the same trade mark law studies, but patent attorneys do additional units which are specifically focused on patent law.

A lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience on matters relating to intellectual property can consult on trade mark matters and act as a trade mark agent.

What does a trade marks attorney do?

Intellectual property can be an extremely valuable asset and it is imperative that organisations take appropriate steps to protect it.  Failure to do so can result in a business or brand losing its competitive advantage.   It is also imperative that when organisations or individuals launch a new product or brand, they don’t waste time, effort and money developing a design or a brand that has already been registered.  A trade marks attorney will help businesses avoid costly mistakes or incurring unnecessary delays.

The fact that a trade marks attorney is required to have such high levels of competency – and that they are required to maintain those high standards on an ongoing basis – gives clients peace-of-mind that their trade mark issues will be professionally handled with skill and accuracy.

When do I need a trade marks attorney?

The fields of intellectual property and trade mark law can be complex and subtle nuances can make a big difference to the outcome of a query or an allegation.   A trade marks attorney is fully up-to-date with legislative changes, case law and precedents and is therefore be able to provide accurate and reliable advice pertinent to the particular circumstances.

A trade marks attorney can handle trade mark searches, registrations, infringements and disputes within Australia.  They also have all the necessary systems to monitor, maintain, enforce and protect trade marks internationally.

You should engage a trade marks attorney if a trade mark infringement notice has been served on your organisation, or if you want to take action against an alleged trade mark infringement pertaining to your registered trade marks.  Consulting a trade marks attorney is also recommended when drafting or reviewing licensing agreements and their specialist advice can be extremely important in protecting an organisation’s bottom-line.

When an organisation embarks on a new brand development, it is a good idea to involve a trade marks attorney from the outset.  This ensures that resources aren’t wasted unnecessarily and that best-practice is followed.  The attorney is able to do a comprehensive trade mark search, both locally and internationally if required and will ensure that a company’s investment is focused in the right areas and that any new intellectual property is protected appropriately.

You may need a trade marks attorney if you:

  • Want to do a trade mark search
  • Want to register a trade mark
  • Want to avoid wasting time and money developing a brand that may infringe the rights of existing trade mark owners
  • Want to refute an allegation of a trade mark infringement
  • Need advice on an intellectual property licensing agreement

In conclusion, any organisation that wants to minimise their risks with regards to their trade marks and maximise their intellectual property assets should consult an experienced trade marks attorney.