Hasbro’s new trademark
Let me ask you a question. What has a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough? Many of you will know it when you smell it. It will take you back to your childhood. It is how Hasbro describes the scent of Play-Doh. Gismodo reports that Hasbro has obtained registration for a scent mark in the US. Given that the scent of Play-Doh is so distinctive it does make sense. I bet you didn’t know that you could protect a scent with a trademark?
In Australia, section 17 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) (“the Act”) defines a trade mark as a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person. Section 6 of the Act defines a sign to include the following or any combination of the following, namely, any letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound or scent. That is quite a broad range of items that can be applied to a product or service to distinguish it from the goods and services of another person.
A registered trade mark can be a valuable asset to a business. A registered business name is, in most cases, not sufficient to give you exclusive use of the name. It is merely a permission to use that name to describe a business in place of the legal name of the business. In most cases the trade mark registration process is straight forward. However, there are some pitfalls in the process for the inexperienced and unwary.
If you have ever thought about obtaining a trade mark for your business or product call us now on 02 6332 6655. We would be only too happy to walk you through the process of registering a trade mark.
IP Australia has a wealth of information about trade marks on its website including the trade mark application process, application fees, searching the register, and managing your trade mark.
David Killen is an intellectual property and commercial lawyer with a particular interest in helping start-ups and existing businesses protect and manage their intellectual property assets. Contact David today to discuss your needs.