Ones to Watch in IP, 2016 - Australia

MacMillan Trade Marks Attorneys provides expert advice in all areas of Australian trademarks and intellectual property (IP). They specialise in providing international clients with efficient and effective protection and enforcement for their trademarks and IP in Australia and provide a fixed fee for most of their work. A registered trademark attorney handles every matter that comes through their door. The firms Principle & Registered Trade Marks Attorney, Tom Rinder , reveals more.

To what extent do you think that intangible assets such as brands, know-how and reputation are of key importance to businesses?

Your brand is the first point of contact a potential customer or client has with your business.

A good brand can instantaneously articulate what a company does, its strengths, market position and it can create trust and goodwill. We think this is something pretty important and worth protecting, we say a brands protection is paramount to any business.

Do you think that organisations need to ensure that they maximise the value of their IP assets whilst ensuring that such assets are adequately protected?

If you do not have a trademark to protect your business, you need to ask yourself, what is stopping copycats? Successful trademark registration in Australia provides 10 years of protection, renewable indefinitely and protects the potential your business has when entering a new market.

We see examples time and time again where non protection of trademarks and IP leads to copying without recourse or even worse forfeiture of that brand by the original owner.

Brands can encompass a range of assets, including names, logos, slogans and these should all protected at soon as possible in the business creation process. Unprotected brands are doomed to fail at some time in their life.

To what extent do business leaders need to create innovative means of developing, exploiting and safeguarding these assets and need to ensure that they seek the know-how and advice of leading specialists in this field to support them in doing so?

With such a crowded marketplace these days innovation through intellectual development of an idea is essential to be successful. Involvement of an attorney who practices in the protection of trademarks and IP at an early stage is mandatory for any business and should be an essential part of the business planning process.

Without proper advice rights can be lost or at worse ownership taken by another party. We have seen many times client’s releasing some form of their IP in the market before the filing of applications for relevant protection, resulting in a loss of rights for that IP.
You should always contact a trademark attorney first if in doubt.

How do you stand out within your field of expertise within the rapidly growing and ever-changing field of IP?

It is no longer enough to be experts in our field, along with extensive expertise we use a plain English approach to simplify the complex legislative and regulatory regimes requires to obtain protection. Through a 100% commitment to delivering on the promises we make, we can achieve our firms’ mantra of providing industry leading service at the best value for money in our jurisdiction.

The majority of our clients are international companies looking to tap into the Australian market and given this is our specialty we are set up to conduct this better than most, including a 24 hour turn around for filing trademarks. Our service lets our clients concentrate on their core business and they appreciate the surety we offer via our fixed fee structure for protection of their trademark and IP in Australia.

What role do your staff play in the successes of your firm?

Our staff are simply the key to our success. Our staff have expertise in the area of trademarks and IP and through our innovative practices we pride ourselves on building trust with our client’s. We can’t do this without the great staff we have.

Our principle has over 15 years of experience in the IP field is a fellow of the Institute of Patent & Trademark Attorneys Australia (IPTA), the peak body in our jurisdiction, a member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australian & New Zealand (IPSANZ) and International Trademark Association (INTA).

What challenges does your company and / or industry face in 2016 and beyond?

One of the major challenges in our field is getting the message to potential clients to ensure they seek appropriate advice at the right time. We see clients who have the wrong information from online resources or other avenues leading to failure to protect any business assets at all. We spend a significant amount of time in education in the field.

With every jurisdiction having its own practice and procedures it’s imperative to contact a local expert with relevant knowledge. In our field there are always amendments to legislation and new case law precedents being set which changes the way we operate.

We say to our client’s follow this quick 5 step trademark checklist:
1. Contact an IP Attorney in the relevant country for advice before you start trading. Even if you have started, the sooner you make contact the better.
2. Audit your IP regularly. Check each brand you have, including names; logos and slogans to ensure they are protected.
3. If you create a new brand or sub brand ensure it is covered.
4. Monitor the marketplace for possible copycats.
5. Once registered use your trademarks or risk losing them!

Company: MacMillan
Trade Mark Attorneys
Name: Tom Rinder, Principle &
Registered Trade Marks Attorney
Email: [email protected]
Address: Level 13, 200 Queen
Street, Melbourne VIC 3000,
Telephone: 61 1300 76 13 56

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