WHAT IS A TRADEMARK ATTORNEY AND WHAT
DOES A TRADEMARK ATTORNEY DO?
In a nutshell, a trademark attorney (more correctly, a "trade marks attorney"), is a person who has legal qualifications permitting them to represent clients in protecting their brands, logos, slogans, colours, shapes, signatures, and even smells, at the Trade Marks Office (IP Australia).
In certain countries of the world, a trademark attorney requires a law degree and then further trade mark specialist subjects to be able to be allowed to practice as a trademark attorney by the body governing trade mark practice. In Australia, one requires an undergraduate degree and then one is required to pass specialist intellectual property (IP) subjects administered by the Professional Standards Board (PSB).
Registered trademark attorneys provide advice as to which trade marks are still available for registration in your intended class - it's useful to know that all trademarks are classified into one or more of 45 classes relating to goods (i.e. products) and services.
A trademark attorney can help you by advising you whether your name is still available in the relevant classes by doing a trade mark search to see if there are any blockers which can stop your from obtaining trademark registration for your name.
Such a BrandScan trademark availability search is usually well worth the money (typically under $660 per name in Australia) to see if you will be infringing on someone else's mark and also to see whether you can, in fact, get protection for your new name.
Trademark attorneys can also assist you in getting protection for your name, brand, logo, or slogan in foreign countries. If, say, you are a wine producer and you want to get protection for the name of your new wine, then a trade mark attorney will work closely with similarly qualified trademark attorneys in other countries who are experts in their field.
At Patenteur we pride ourselves on our network of overseas associates who can assist in this regard.
A registered trademark attorney can also assist you in dealing with disputes, for example where there is an existing business name on the register which has not been registered as a trademark, but which is troublesome for your registration. As such, trademark lawyers can represent you at the Trade Marks office during opposition proceedings, either to stop a competitor's mark from going through or in cases where your mark is being opposed by a third party.
As always, IP is a complex field so please contact us and speak to one of crew members before taking any final decisions regarding your branding.