Export to Australia – Trademark Trick and Copyright Catch

Are you thinking of exporting to Australia? Did you acquire intellectual property rights in order? yet? Well, if you do, don’t be too late, as “she” may not be right.

WAustralia’s intellectual property laws, rules, and processes are mostly identical or very similar to New Zealand, but important differences that exporters need to be aware of and seek advice when planning their business growth. there is.

This article focuses on the area of ​​Australian intellectual property law. This is the most common advice for aspiring exporters in my legal affairs. Trademarks and domain names, designs and copyrights.

Trademarks and domain names

As in New Zealand, rights to Australian trademarks (usually brand names and logos) are acquired through use and / or registration.

Registered rights are best because they entitle exporters across Australia. It is usually different from usage-based rights, which are geographically limited. That is, it is limited to the city / state that sells the item.

Brand name registration rights are also great for two reasons. First, it protects your brand name regardless of how it appears in graphic format (including your logo). Secondly, as I will tell you soon, they allow exporters to register domain names for Australian business (if they want to register such domain names). ).

Some exporters may not be able to register your brand name as a wordmark because it is descriptive or general. In that case, getting the logo registration is better than not registering at all.

Other exporters may not be able to register your brand name because someone else has already used or registered the same or similar trademark in Australia.

If you find yourself on the boat, you need to investigate what your options are before making a decision.

Registered trademark rights are especially important in Australia if an aspiring exporter is considering operating an Australian website designated by a or domain name.

This is because there are specific eligibility criteria under “.au” to register a or domain name. Domain management rules: Licenses that must be met'(‘ Rules’):

  • First, the person applying for registration of a or domain name must be a commercial organization.
  • Then the domain name you apply for must match, for example: An individual’s company name, company name, legal name, or individual name. An acronym for the person’s company, business, statutory or personal name. A person’s Australian Trademark Match (Note that “Australian Trademark” means either a pending trademark application or a registered trademark appearing in the IP Australia Trademark Database). Alternatively, a match or synonym for the name of the service provided by the person, or the name of the goods (retail or wholesale) sold by the person.

In fact, the easiest way for an aspiring exporter to qualify to register a or domain name is to file a trademark application for the company name or service (and publish it in the IP Australia database). ) That is. Product brand name.

However, as the criteria above indicate, the domain name of interest must exactly match the word that is the subject of the Australian trademark application or registration (in the definition of “match” in the rules, such as “limited”. Commercial status identifiers are excluded. ”, Punctuation, articles such as“ a ”,“ the ”,“ and ”,“ or ”,“ of ”, and the symbol“ & ”).

Design and copyright

The fundamental difference between New Zealand and Australia’s intellectual property law is that Australia has no copyright protection for “industrialally applied” product designs.

In New Zealand, for example, owners of CAD drawings used to manufacture physical products for sale or rental are copyrighted for 16 years from the date the 51st product from those drawings is manufactured. ..

Not so in Australia. In Australia, exporters of such products do not enjoy the copyright protection of CAD drawings except in certain limited circumstances. Exporters must rely on registered design rights or consumer perceptions of the appearance of the product in Australia in order to prevent or suspend copying.

The registered design right protects the shape and composition, pattern or decoration of the physical article, that is, the appearance of the item.

Design rights do not protect designs that have no physical form, such as how things work (patenting), the materials used in the product, the size of the product, or computer graphics.

A registered design right is preferable to relying on the consumer’s awareness of the appearance of the product, as it does not require public use of the product design to exercise the design right.

In fact, the exact opposite. To register in Australia, the design must be new and unique. “Characteristic” means that it is not identical or substantially similar to a design previously used publicly in Australia or published in documents inside or outside Australia.

Due to this requirement, if Australia is included in the plans of an ambitious exporter, it is important that the exporter seeks registered design protection as soon as possible. It can take months, if not years before the product actually ships to Australia.

Finally, please note that this article is for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need advice, please contact your IP specialist.

read: There is no end to shipping delays

Export to Australia – Trademark Trick and Copyright Catch

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