Under the Federal Government’s new ‘National Business Name Registration’ system only one application needs to be made to allow an entity to trade under that business name throughout Australia. This system is replacing the previous registration system for business names where the business name was required to be registered in each State or Territory that the person intended to trade in. Where the same business name is registered to different persons from different states, identifiers for registration will be placed at the end of the name, for example SA, VIC or QLD. Registering a business name does not automatically give exclusive rights in that name.
Consequently, it is more important than ever that businesses ensure their trade marks have adequate protection. Registration of a trade mark is not as simple as the national registration of business names and registering a business name under the new system will not provide or guarantee trade mark registration.
A trade mark:
Effective trade mark availability and infringement searches take time and experience to conduct. Ensuring a trade mark of an identical name is not registered is a good initial step, however further searches may need to be conducted by business owners to ensure that the chosen business name is not infringing upon another’s registered rights.
A trade mark is a valuable commercial asset. A registered trade mark places your business in a stronger position to prevent infringement and prevent unauthorised use of your trade mark. Consequently, it is recommended that business owners strongly consider registering their trade marks.