Frequently Asked Questions about Trade Marks
What is a trade mark?
A trade mark or brand is your unique business identifier. It lets the public know that the goods or services attached to the mark are unique to your business. Trade mark registration is therefore an invaluable asset and essential marketing tool for your business and should not be overlooked.
How long does it take to register a trade mark in Australia?
It will take no less than 7.5 months to get your trade mark registered in Australia. This is provided your trade mark is not rejected by IP Australia nor opposed by another party.
What is the process for registering a trade mark in Australia?
Once your trade mark is filed, it will be examined by IP Australia. It usually takes 4-6 months for the examiner’s report to be issued although it is possible to speed up this process to 4-6 weeks under certain circumstances.
The TradeMark Factory will file your trade mark using the Headstart process which means we will receive a preliminary assessment for your application from IP Australia within 7 working days.
If your application is accepted without objection or we are able to overcome any objections raised, the application will be advertised in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks for a 2 month period whereby anyone can oppose your application if they are concerned about its registration.
If no opposition is filed within the 2 month opposition period, your application will proceed to registration. Once registered, it will remain so for 10 years.
Do I need to use my trade mark?
In order to maintain your trade mark, you should use it on the goods and services for which it is registered.
If you do not use your trade mark within the 3 years after your trade mark is entered on the Register, it may be vulnerable to removal for non-use.
Why register your trade mark?
A trade mark registration is the only way to gain exclusive rights to use the name or logo. Company, business and domain name registrations do not provide this right. Therefore, trade mark registration provides security that you and only you own the name in relation to your products.
What are the advantages of registering a trade mark?
- Exclusivity – When you register your name or brand as a trade mark, you obtain the exclusive rights to use the name or brand.
- Australia wide coverage – An Australian registered trade mark provides you with protection for the mark throughout Australia.
- A valuable business asset – A registered trade mark is property or an asset of your business. As with any property, a trade mark can be sold.
- More control of your brand – A registered trade mark allows to you license the use of your registered trade mark much easier than an unregistered mark.
- The right to stop others from using your brand – With a registered trade mark , you can stop someone from using your brand without authorisation more quickly and easily than without a trade mark registration.
- The right to use the ® symbol – Once you trade mark is registered, you can use the ® symbol with your mark which puts others on notice of your rights.
How do you register your trade mark?
Simply complete the online application form here or contact The TradeMark Factory on 02 9499 9229.
Can I do some pre-filing searches myself?
While we always recommend that you have a search carried out by a professional trade mark lawyer, some countries provide access to their official trade mark databases. Links to these databases are:
- IP Australia – Australian Trade Mark Database
- IPONZ – New Zealand Trade Mark Database
- USPTO – US Patent and Trademark Office
- WIPO – Global Brands Database (covers trade marks filed via the Madrid Protocol and their designated countries; over 100 countries)
- TM View – EU national IP offices, the European Intellectual Property Office and a number of international partner offices outside the EU
- UK Intellectual Property Office – UK Trade Mark Database
- ASEAN TMView – ASEAN Member States