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A Trademark is a legal right giving the owner the right to a monopoly in a brand name or a logo, for an unlimited period of time.  The owner of a registered trademark can prevent other businesses from copying their brand name or logo.

General Information on Trademarks



In selling a product or a service, a business will become well known by its trademark.  A trademark such as “Nike” or "Coke" is clearly a valuable intellectual property asset for the owner.  The laws of many countries also allow for the registration of colours, shapes and even smells as trademarks.


To be registrable, a trademark must be capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of other traders.  It is therefore not possible to register a trade mark that is the same or similar to an existing trademark.  For example, Australian courts have found if the mark “POSH PUPPY” is not registrable in light of the existing mark “HUSH PUPPIES” for footwear. 


Furthermore a trademark that is descriptive cannot be registered.  Thus, an application for a trade mark for “leather” in respect of footwear would fail, given that many shoes could be properly described as “leather ”.

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