Shape Trade Marks

Prior to the introduction of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Act) shapes were not registrable as trade mark, however Section 6 of the Act now includes “shapes” as a sign that can be registered as a trade mark, hence the birth of a shape mark, including 3-dimensional shapes in Australia.

Registered Design

A registered design protects the overall look or appearance of your product. It includes shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation but does not protect the way the product works or functions.

What should I file?

One of the first questions to consider is whether your design is “new”. If for example you have disclosed your design to the public, your design may not qualify as a valid registered design as the requirement for newness will not have been met.

On the other hand, trade marks do not have to be “new”.  Although it is possible to register shapes as trade marks, it should be remembered that they still need to meet the requirements of the Act. If for example the shape is one which other traders in the goods covered by the shape want or need to use, it will not be capable of registration.

How long do they last?

Once registered a trade mark can last indefinitely provided the renewal fees are paid every 10 years. A registered design however lasts only for 10 years.

Contact us for help

What, how and when you file your design can be complex questions and one which you should discuss with one of our experts. Contact us today to see how we can assist you.