What to consider when extending your business interstate

If you are considering expanding your business over state lines, you must ensure you understand how to protect your enterprise’s design all over Australia.

Your business' design is as much of an asset to your business as your equipment or cash reserves. Ensuring your design isn't misused by other companies for their own gain is vital to keeping your business competitive. 

Australian Designs generally protects the shape and configuration of products. They are excellent for protecting the unique look and feel for items that don't really function differently to existing products but rather look new and exciting. Business' logos are protected by Trade Mark Law under a separate registration regime.

Protecting your brand design as intellectual property, however, isn't so simple when you look to expand your operations into a new state. Different local applications and new pools of protected designs means you could experience a tricky start to your pan-state business life. Luckily, the team at Alder IP are on hand to ensure you know exactly what you need to consider to protect your business.

Working out your business' design requires you to detail it in drawing. Working out your business' design requires you to plan every detail on paper before your submit it for protection.

Take the necessary steps to protect your design

The steps needed to protect your design are considered in Business Australia:

  • Read about designs – the first and most obvious step is making sure that you have a 'unique and distinctive' design, or ensure that design protection is the kind of intellectual property protection you want.
  • Thoroughly research the application process – applying for a design can be a complex process that requires you to fill out a lot of paperwork and submit drawings to Intellectual Property (IP) Australia determining the key details of your design.
  • Search IP Australia's designs database – scanning through the database ensures that no other existing designs are similar to yours. Not only does this help you avoid costly legal fees down the track, but it also informs you about what your competition will look like.
Not checking what existing designs are protected over state lines could lead to costly legal proceedings. Not checking what existing designs are protected over state lines could lead to costly legal proceedings.

Considering your next move when you go interstate

Expanding your business into a new state is a significant decision that could make or break your business. If you have a unique design you want exclusive access to use, you need to ensure it is still unique in the state you intend to diversify into. Checking through the pool of designs protected within the state can be time consuming when you are trying to organise other aspects of your move.

Similarly, working with different state branches of the federal Intellectual Property office can take a while, especially if you are expanding into two or more states at once. 

What Alder IP can offer

Figuring out how to protect your business design across state lines is made much simpler with the help of a dedicated legal professional well-versed in intellectual property law. Alder IP are an industry-leading firm, ready to help your business protect your brand as you make bold steps into expansion. For more information, contact the team today.