wary of consenting to the use of your property's name by
Services: Property & Projects
Property managers need to be aware of the potential dangers in
providing consent to third parties who wish to use the name of
Property management services, like any other goods or services
can be protected through the registration of a trade mark.
A trade mark registration provides its owner with a monopoly to
use a sign (which could include the name of a building) in relation
to specific goods or services.
If used effectively, a trade mark registration can be a powerful
tool to prevent others from adopting, misusing or misappropriating
However, even once you have achieved trade mark registration, if
you are not vigilant, there are ways in which the sharp practice of
third parties can lead to potential trouble.
A typical scenario is one where you might have over many years
established the reputation of a building or shopping centre and
prudently obtained trade mark protection.
However, a few years down the track, you receive a polite email
from another property owner seeking your consent to their use
and/or registration of a name which is the same or very similar as
yours, but elsewhere in Australia.
The other side may even have gone to the trouble of providing a
template letter addressed to the Registrar of Trade Marks for you
to reprint on your own letterhead and represented that there was no
commercial conflict in your providing consent.
While many might simply delete the email or let it go through to
the keeper, those who are naturally inclined to be helpful may not
think twice about assisting with what seems to be an innocuous
However, co-operation in this case has the potential to wreak
serious damage on the brand of the building or shopping centre.
By providing consent, you are effectively destroying the
monopoly provided by a trade mark registration and diluting the
power of your registered trade mark to perform the function of a
trade mark – that is, to act as a badge of origin for
specific goods or services.
Another important point to consider is whether a property
owner's arrangements with tenants make proper provision for
and take account of the use of the name of the property as part of
the tenant's business name.
Typically such provisions would be addressed in a property
owner's lease agreement with the tenant. However, if the
tenant has incorporated the property's name into their
business name, it is essential to ensure that the terms of the
lease (or an alternate enforceable contractual arrangement) provide
that any use of the property name inures to the benefit of the
property owner and that upon termination of the lease the tenant
agrees to change their business name to remove any and all
references to the property name.
In the two scenarios outlined above, it is important to seek
advice as to whether:
in all the circumstances it is appropriate to provide consent,
or whether a simple response indicating that you do not intend
providing consent and that you take seriously the notion of
protecting, maintaining and enforcing your trade mark rights will
your lease arrangements cover a tenant's use of the
If you have any questions regarding these matters or leases in
general, please feel free to contact the DibbsBarker Leasing Team
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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