Now, we know what you’re thinking, “What do lawyers know about designing a logo!??”. To be honest, not much at all! Most of us really did miss out on the ‘creativity gene’. However, if you are trying to build your brand and are wanting to use your logo to distinguish your goods and services from other traders, you may wish to consider registering it as a trade mark. Strangely enough, we do know a little bit about registering trade marks!

Many business owners spend considerable resources, both money and time, on their logo design; however, they do not stop to consider whether the design would be ‘registrable’ as a trade mark. By the time they are ready to commence the application process, the logo design has been completed and often, already in use by the business.

To avoid the above mistake, we have compiled a short list of dos and don’ts of logo design:

  • DO be UNIQUE: This seems obvious enough; however, it is surprising how many business owners neglect to undertake adequate searches to verify that their design is completely original. Ensure you search a variety of databases including google, ASIC and ATMOSS;
  • DON’T use DESCRIPTIVE WORDS in your logo: The biggest trap that business owners fall into is including descriptive words in their logo design. Avoid using descriptive words, even if they have been given a new spin i.e. Cawfee Shop, Selfie, Tip Top Electricians, Cooking Queens etc
  • DON’T use GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES in your logo: Although not impossible, it is extremely difficult to register a logo which includes a geographical name in its design. To be clear, avoid using country, state, suburbs etc in your logo
  • DON’T use your (or any other) SURNAME in your logo design: Unless your surname is incredibly unique, avoid using it within your logo design. The more common the surname, the less likely it will be accepted as a registered trade mark.
  • DON’T use commonly used ACRONYMS: The use of acronyms in your logo design, could potentially result in your application being rejected. Also be weary that words/acronyms that later become commonly used within the public sphere, risk losing their distinguishing value and may result in the relevant trade mark being challenged.

The key to successfully registering a logo as a trade mark is to remember that your logo is meant to distinguish your goods and services from other traders. In other words, when a consumer sees your logo, will they associate it with (only) your business? If the answer is yes, then chances are you have a registrable trade mark.

Should you have any queries regarding the registration of your logo as a trade mark, please contact our office on (07) 3161 2847 or