IP, or intellectual property, is ‘the application of the mind to develop something new or original’ (ipaustralia.gov.au). It’s the idea behind a brand, invention, design or any artistic creation and is protected with trademarks.
Paul Holzberger and Michael Beverly from IP Wealth have made their specialty into just this – trademarking brands, and all the hard work poured into them.
If not done correctly, or even worse, at all, trademarking or lack-there-of it could mean the end of your business – this is where IP Wealth steps in.
Paul said you can spend years building a business but if you don’t have the trademark, another company can register one in your name and stop you from trading with it.
“They can take your company name and domain, and issue a cease and desist letter to close you down – and the chances of this happening are high,” he said.
“You will be forced to rebrand and trade under a different name, and all of your hard work will go to your competitor.
“Trademarking is like having an insurance policy.”
He said the biggest problem he sees for start-ups is that 80 per cent of Australians don’t know what a trademark is.
“People don’t know that having a brand which is not trademarked is only a temporary right until someone along comes and trademarks it.”
With many companies registering trademarks on the sideline, mostly general practice law firms, Gold Coast-based IP Wealth is solely focused on intellectual property.
“While these companies might do up to 30 trademarks in a year we can do up to 30 in a day – it’s what we specialise in.
“We work with clients who have business in Australia and overseas where trademarking laws vary.”
Thinking of starting a business or haven’t yet registered a trademark? Read these three steps to protecting your intellectual property.
1. Be proactive. Searching your company name before your decide to use a brand and registering a trademark should be the first step before you start your business, whether in Australia or overseas. Seek expertise such as IP Wealth, who has access to extensive databases, to carry out a comprehensive search for you.
2. Seek professional advice when lodging your trademark. Many trademarks are lodged without the advice of a professional and have so many holes they leave the brand exposed.
3. If you have been in business for several years and haven’t registered a trademark, do a search to see if you can actually own your brand. If you can, trademark it. If you want to sell down the track, this will increase the selling price because every buyer will want to know they can own the intellectual property with the company.”
IP Wealth: protecting ideas globally
IP Wealth specialises in the areas of trademarks, designs, IP Audits and Diagnostics and IP Education. They work with clients internationally and Australia-wide to reach the best intellectual property solutions for their business in a strategic, timely and cost effective manner making them the preferred intellectual property partner to hundreds of CEO’s across Australia and internationally.
They happily take clients on Bartercard.
Visit ipwealth.com.au or call 1800 85 7070.