A registered trade mark is a valuable asset for any business, but in order to get the maximum benefit from your registration it is important to remain vigilant for any other businesses using your trade mark, or a similar trade mark. This can be difficult and time consuming for brand owners though, particularly in an international marketplace.

A trade mark watch service can assist with this monitoring function, for brand owners who want to make sure others do not infringe on their valuable intellectual property rights. This article will explore what trade mark watch services are, and the potential benefits they can provide for brand owners.

Benefits of a trade mark watch service

Trade mark watch services can assist businesses to monitor and identify in a timely manner potential infringers of their trade mark rights, so that conduct can be addressed to limit any commercial or reputational damage. Businesses can benefit from a trade mark watch service in a number of ways and this varies depending on the type of watch service put in place.

Primarily, trade mark watch services are used to protect trade mark rights against unauthorised use. By keeping track of trade marks using a watch service, businesses can ensure that no one else is using them without permission. This is important for protecting the brand and preventing potential confusion among consumers.

Further, by monitoring trade mark filings made in other countries, businesses can be alerted to any potential infringements that may occur outside of their own jurisdiction. This can help to protect the brand from being copied or used without permission in other parts of the world.

By having a trade mark watch service in place, businesses can take proactive action to prevent any potential infringements from occurring. Overall, a trade mark watch service can be an important tool for businesses in protecting their brands and preventing infringement.

Monitoring for similar trade mark applications

Trade marks are protected on a national basis, which means there are a huge amount of new trade mark applications filed around the world every day. For most businesses, monitoring overseas trade mark applications on a regular basis is naturally not a high priority. However, if a trade mark application is filed that is too similar to your trade mark, it is important to identify and oppose that at an early stage. Once the trade mark has been registered, your options for opposing that may be more limited, and having someone else use a similar trade mark can cause real commercial and reputational damage to your brand.

A trade mark watch service can assist by monitoring for and identifying similar trade mark applications filed in Australia and overseas countries. Similar applications may be identified at the filing stage or at the acceptance stage. Importantly, this can help to prevent another business from registering a trademark that is too similar to your own trade mark.

Marketplace monitoring

Trade mark watch services can also monitor the marketplace to identify any unauthorised use of your trade mark in the marketplace. This can help to prevent other businesses from unfairly using a your trade marks to confuse or mislead consumers.

Similarly, trade mark watch services can help to identify counterfeit products that may be for sale in the marketplace. Counterfeit products can cause damage to the legitimate businesses that produce them, by flooding the market with cheaper and often inferior products. By monitoring the marketplace for counterfeit products, trade mark watch services can help to protect both consumers and businesses.

What happens if a similar trade mark is identified?

If a similar trade mark is found, the first step is to gather as much information as possible about the situation. This includes identifying the other business that is applying for or using the trade mark, understanding how they are using it, and determining whether or not there is any potential for confusion among consumers.

If it is determined that there is a risk of confusion among consumers, the next step is to seek legal advice regarding your rights and next steps. If may be possible to reach out to the other business and try to resolve the situation amicably, however, understanding your legal rights is an important next step.

How often should monitoring be conducted?

Monitoring trade marks should be conducted on a regular and ongoing basis in order to ensure that no similar trade mark applications or unauthorised use goes unnoticed. By doing so, businesses can protect their brands and avoid any potential confusion among consumers. It is typically recommended to monitor trade marks at least every three months. However, the frequency of monitoring may vary depending on the business and the risks associated with potential infringement.

Businesses should also keep in mind that the risk for infringement changes over time as new products and services are introduced, and as the marketplace evolves. Therefore, it is important to regularly review the trade marks that are being monitored and make any necessary changes to the watch list.

Key Takeaways

Trade mark watch services are a proactive step to take to prevent against unauthorised use of your trade mark. Depending on your requirements, there are a number of types of watch services that are available. Regardless of the type of watch service, it is important to have the watch service conducted regularly.

Actuate IP has a team of intellectual property experts who can assist with Trade Mark Monitoring & Watch Services. If you require assistance, you can contact our team on 1300 851 138 or trademark@actuateip.com.au and our friendly staff will make sure you are directed to the best person to assist you with your matter.


What does a trade mark watch service monitor for?

It varies depending on the type of trade mark watch service used, however a trade mark watch service most commonly monitors either for the filing of trade mark applications for similar trade marks, or for use of a particular trade mar mark in the marketplace.

Why should you monitor your registered trade marks?

Having a watch service in place for your registered trade marks ensures that you will be alerted to any similar marks filed or in use in the marketplace so that you can promptly address such action and prevent dilution of your valuable trade mark rights.