aRc is a specialist intellectual property practice, which provides support in relation to any trade mark, copyright or domain registration issues.

In particular, the main services provided are as follows.

1.  Choosing a new brand

When choosing a new brand for your business and/or your products it’s essential to think about:

  • the message you’re trying to convey; and
  • what would appeal to your target market.

Here’s a great story recently of the path to choosing a great brand.  Its always best to get a group involved to brainstorm potential ideas – use post-its so everyone can freely put in ideas, then cull them down to the brands that are the most distinctive for your goods and services.

If a brand directly describes your goods, or simply uses language that is common to your market, then you won’t be able to get a registered trade mark and others will be able to use very similar marks without infringing your rights.

aRc can help to run a brandstorming session so that you have two to three strong brands to choose from.

2.  Clearance search

Before deciding on the brand you want to use, its best to first check whether anyone else is already using the same or similar mark.  If someone else is already using the mark:

  • they may have rights that can be used to stop you using the brand; and/or
  • you may lose sales if consumers are confused between your businesses.

It is therefore best to check the trade mark registers in the countries where you want to trade, the business directories, the telephone directories, the domain name registries and also to do a general internet search for any use of the same or similar mark.

From these results you will be able to see whether your potential brand is available to use.  The clearance search will also provide great evidence of the state of the market when you went to launch your brand, if someone else does try to claim that they started using the mark before you.

aRc can provide a clearance check for you to ensure that your brand is available to use without confusion or infringement.

3.  IP strategy

After doing a clearance search, it will be possible to prepare a strategy for owning your IP.  This may include:

  • drafting and filing a trade mark application(s) in the countries where you want to trade;
  • filing applications for domain name registration; and/or
  • ensuring any copyright works are adequately protected.

aRc can assist with the ownership of your trade marks, domain names and copyright works

4.  Launch!

After ensuring you own your IP, or that you’ve at least started the process, you can go out to the market with your brand.  Doing this too soon can lead to a lot of headaches, and cost, in having to rebrand or retrieve your brand from someone else.

Once you’ve ensured you own all your IP it’s essential to keep an eye on the market, as if someone else starts using a similar brand and you do nothing, they may be able to claim their own rights.

aRc can assist with maintaining and monitoring your IP rights

If you have any questions about your branding please contact Rachel on or 021 067 4709

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