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Why should I protect my intellectual property?

Emily Shoemark

26 Apr 2017

Topics

  • Intellectual Property

World Intellectual Property (WIP) Day is on April 26. The day was established in 2001 by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), of which Australia is a member. For Emily Shoemark, Senior Associate with Snedden Hall & Gallop, WIP Day encourages engagement among private industry, governments and the public on IP promotion and protection.

Is IP protection just for inventors?

Often people ask why we need to protect our intellectual property rights. Some consider it an unnecessary requirement for business. You might associate intellectual property with using patents and design protection to allow inventors to protect their ideas while they are developing new products. You might recall a new invention maintaining a monopoly in a market for a specific time.

However, protecting your intellectual property rights is important for everyone, whether this be businesses protecting their brand, or authors, artists and others who create unique work enforcing their rights to not have that work copied without authorisation.

The Australian system – Trade Marks

In Australia, the trade mark protection system is a priority registration system. This means that a registered new trademark or log may have priority over an established but never registered trademark or logo. Even if you have been using a logo and a specific brand name for a long time, if you have not registered your trade mark and someone else registers a similar logo or word as a trade mark before you do, they may have priority in the eyes of the law. In intellectual property law, timing is very important.

Your Global rights

In an ever-increasing global economy, protection of intellectual property rights internationally in relation to trade marks but also other forms of intellectual property are becoming very important. Australia’s membership of WIPO means that registration of a trade mark in countries outside of Australia can be done through a single application and the process can be quite straightforward.

Can Snedden Hall & Gallop assist?

If you have not protected your intellectual property rights and are using a brand name, business name or logo that your customers connect with, you need to think about formally protecting those rights. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Shoemark and our intellectual property team on (02) 6285 8000 or by email.