A record number of businesses registered for a trademark last financial year, according to figures from IP Australia, revealing the fact that business owners are becoming more savvy about their intellectual property.
IP Australia also conducted a recent survey, revealing that the number of small businesses aware of intellectual property doubled in comparison to last year. Fifty four percent rated themselves as ‘somewhat aware’ of intellectual property (IP), and the proportion of those ‘very aware’ rose from 15% to 32%.
Additionally, businesses applied for trademarks in a record 69,003 classes, meaning businesses are also expanding their brand into more categories. For example, a beer brewer may want to register his or her business in beer, but may also want to register a logo in clothing, as they may wish to also produce a brand of clothing related to that market.
“It is a really positive thing for the Australian economy, because it shows Australian people are starting to understand the value in the IP system and the benefits of using that system to protect their competitive advantage,” Peter Willimott, director of marketing at IP Australia told Smarter Business Ideas.
“It’s a sign that lots of businesses are diversifying what they’re offering to the marketplace and I think that’s probably driven by a couple of things: maybe they’re hedging their bets and having a couple of lines to fall back on, but I also think it’s indicative of a reasonably confident business community. You don’t invest new operations or brand unless you think there’s a market for it and that market is going to respond really well to your new product or service.”
Willimott emphasised the importance for small businesses to protect their intellectual property by registering their trademark. Without a trademark, a business is risking its “hard-earned reputation,” as it establishes you as a brand owner and allows you to exclude others from using it.
“For most businesses, large or small, the trademark can become their most valuable asset because for every satisfied customer you deal with, that interaction adds value to your trademark, because that person thinks positively about your brand,” he said.