You've spent a lot of time, effort and money developing your name, reputation and brand. It makes good business sense to now protect your business through the registration of a trade mark.

A trade mark is used to distinguish the goods and services of one business from those of another. Simply registering your business name or company doesn't provide exclusive rights to use the name, logo, symbol, colour or phrase your business might rely on. Only a trade mark can truly serve that purpose.

Imitation isn't always the sincerest form of flattery. Trade mark protection is not only an important marketing tool in the 21st century; it's also an important means of protecting your livelihood against the possibility of competitors or imitators using similar names, logos, phrases (and so on) in your industry.

Without a trade mark, you have limited, and more expensive, rights of enforcement should you wish to stop others from infringing upon what you feel is your intellectual property ... not to mention business succession issues down the track when you can't even sell your own brand! You might not believe it to be a major issue now, but if unscrupulous imitators or competitors muddy the waters by using your logo or other brand images without your consent, this may cause complications when the time comes to hand off your business to your successor. If you can't establish clear ownership of the brand, you may be facing a long and difficult process to prove and secure those ownership rights.

Do you already have a registered trade mark? Great! You've taken steps to protect your business. But did you know that trade mark protection doesn't last forever, and it does need to be periodically reviewed? The small cost outlay today is more than justified if it can prevent or mitigate a potentially long, drawn out and costly litigation in the future.