With the beginning of the new year, it is important that you reflect on where you are and what you hope to achieve with your trade mark portfolio.  Whilst a ten year renewal period for trade marks tends to encourage a ‘register and forget’ attitude, you can leverage and maximise your trade marks portfolio through regular mini checks-ups.

The following checklist presents items to consider in relation to your portfolio:

  • Summary Status: What is the status of your existing trade marks and what activities are likely to occur this year?
  • Renewals: Do you have any trade marks that are coming up for renewal during this year?
  • Changes: Have you changed any of your names/logos, leading to a need for additional protection?
  • New Marks: Have you launched any new products/services that require trade mark protection?
  • Use: Have you been using your trade marks? It pays to routinely collect evidence of such use ‘as you go’ so you can have it at hand if ever needed.
  • New Markets:
    • Are you selling your products or services overseas?
    • Are you importing new products into the Australian market?
    • Have you expanded any goods/services offered under your trade marks?

Thinking about these things at the beginning of the year can assist you to develop a clear ‘plan of attack’ and list of strategic activities for the year ahead.