An online survey found that nearly half of Australians had no idea what they were thinking when they said trademark, but it turns out most don’t know much about it either.
Key points:A new online survey finds most Australians have no idea about their trademarkA new survey of Australian internet users found that just under half of respondents knew the word “TASK”A new trademark law will make it harder for companies to register a trademarkThe survey of 1,000 Australians aged between 18 and 55 also found that most people thought it was important to trademark a specific product or service.
A total of 52 per cent said they had heard the word trademark, while just 23 per cent of respondents thought it is important to have a trademark, according to the survey of more than 1,300 Australians aged 18 and over.
It’s the second online survey of its kind, after the US, which found that more than half of internet users knew the term “Task”.
However, the new survey has revealed Australians have a very different take on the issue.
The survey also found the most common response to the question “What is your trademark?”, was “Tasks”.
However there were some interesting differences between Australian internet consumers and the US.
For instance, almost a third of Australians who said they knew the name “Task” had no opinion about the trademark, compared to only 19 per cent in the US where the name is registered.
In addition, Australians were less likely to know about the use of the word in Australia, with only 25 per cent aware of the term in Australia.
“There’s an Australian stereotype that Australian trademark is a good thing and that it’s important for businesses to have that trademark,” said Ben Walsh, a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Melbourne’s business school.
“So, I think we need to get Australians to really get it, and I think that trademark is important for people to understand.”
While Mr Walsh believes the term is important, he said he thinks it’s more important for Australians to get the word right.
“I think people should know the terms as they exist in the trademark register.
They’re not in the statute of limitations, they’re not legally binding and so they’re very easy to get wrong,” he said.
Mr Walsh said the lack of understanding of trademark law is not just a problem for companies, but consumers too.
“It’s a very important issue, because it means that companies can’t legally register a word that is actually not a trademark and therefore is very hard to do in practice,” he added.
“And people don’t understand the meaning of the phrase, ‘I don’t own this trademark, you do’.”
He said trademark laws are important because they protect the intellectual property rights of the trademark holder, but they’re also necessary for people who don’t want to use the trademark at all.
“People who don, for example, use their own name to market their product or use their name to advertise their product in other industries have to be protected.
So if you don’t have a legitimate trademark, it’s very difficult for you to do anything with it,” he explained.
He said while people may think trademark laws protect people from the bad press that comes with being an infringer, they could also be putting their own business at risk.
“When someone uses a trademark to make a claim or to make it look good, that is infringing on that person’s right to use that trademark.
It’s a huge problem and it is going to be a major problem if the term trademark gets too much of a foothold in the public debate,” he noted.”
We need to be very careful not to overstep the mark-making boundary.
We need to protect the rights of trademark holders.”
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