A trade mark is a sign, brand or logo which you can use to distinguish your goods and services from other traders so that consumers can identify you. It acts as a badge or origin for your company or your product.
A trade mark can be any combination of words, names, symbols and logos – the more unique the mark, the easier it will be to register. Likewise, the more generic the mark, the harder it is to register. Some marks might not be registrable at all.
Registration of your trade mark gives you legal protection and the exclusive right to use the mark in Australia. You can sue if you find somebody else using your mark, or a similar mark on the same or similar goods or services without your permission. This protection lasts 10 years. An unregistered trade mark is harder to protect and requires stronger evidence when trying to stop others using your mark.
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Many factors can affect the process.
A trade mark must be examined and accepted by IP Australia before it can proceed to registration. The examination process itself can take from 12 weeks to 15 months depending on any examination issues that arise.
Even when a mark is accepted by IP Australia, it may still face objection from another party.
The registration period lasts for 10 years. The trade mark can be renewed at every 10 year anniversary.
This is a search of the Australian Trademarks Register to see if anyone else has already applied for a mark which is the same or similar to your own.
Where the same or a similar mark already exists, IP Australia will raise an objection against the registration of your mark. Trade Mark Zone can provide a search of the Register for conflicting marks before you apply with IP Australia.
Searching the Register can be time consuming and confusing. Your mark does not have to be identical to one that is already registered, it may be enough that the marks cover similar goods or services to your own.
When you receive a search result from Trade Mark Zone, you receive a comprehensive summary of other marks on the Australian Trademarks Register that may be in direct conflict with your mark.
When you apply to register a trade mark you must include a list of the goods and/or services you provide using the trade mark. These goods or services need to be categorised into classes for ease of identification and searching.
IP Australia categorises the goods and services according to the International Nice Classification System. This classification system comprises 45 classes. Classes 1 to 34 pertain to goods, while classes 35 to 45 pertain to services. Each class comes with an associated official fee.
Trade Mark Zone will classify your goods and services for you as part of the application process.
Only the trademark owner or their agent can apply for the registration of a trademark. An application made by a person who is not the owner of the mark can be challenged.
No. Each country has its own laws and practices You will need to apply for protection in each country where you wish to register your trade mark. However, depending on the country, you may be able to use your Australian application date to claim priority over other marks in other countries.
You can use our New Zealand online service to file your trade mark in New Zealand which can be found at www.trademarkzone.co.nz
A trademark is personal property. The trade mark owner is responsible for monitoring other people using their trademark or a similar mark and taking any necessary enforcement action.