Applying for a trademark in Australia during a relatively straight forward process can become quite complicated if the applicant does not understand the process.
This article is a step by step process of how to go about Trademark Registration in Australia.
Decide if you have a Trademark
Before applying for a trademark, you need to consider several issues. It is important to be careful with the application given that the trademark office will not refund applicants for any mistakes.
Familiarize yourself with the different types of intellectual property protection available by reading up on trademark basics.
You have a trademark if what you want to register, is a unique sign that may include images, sound, movement, phrases, words, smells, or a combination of these elements.
Understand Goods and Services
You have to provide a description of the services or goods you intend to provide in your trademark application. These have to be classified into one or two classes that you can pick for the Trademarks classification picklist.
The Picklist has over 45 classes from which you need to pick the category that your trademark relates to – you need to be careful with this since it is not possible to expand your goods and services offerings once the application is filed.
Before applying for your given trademark, it is advisable to conduct a comprehensive search to ensure that no pending or active trademarks are similar to what you intend to register.
Since searching the databases may be a complicated affair, it is recommended to engage the services of an IP professional that will not only do the search grunt work but will also offer suggestions to improve your trademark.
Using the Australia trademark search will unearth details such as:
1. Whether your new trademark is an infringement on the rights of another
2. If your trademark conflicts with other registered marks
3. If your new logo or trademark is eligible for trademark registration in Australia
4. If the logo or name you intent to trademark is already active
Applying for trademark registration in Australia
There are two methods of application available:
1) Standard online application process
2) TM Headstart
A pre-application service that assesses the suitability of your application before you proceed to the online application
Your Application needs to have the following:
1. A translation/transliteration of any marks in foreign languages
2. What you are offering as services or goods
3. Description of goods or services
4. A representation of the trademark
5. Name and contact details
Results of the Application
It typically takes 3-4 months for the trademark application to go through processing. If the application is successful, you will be notified in writing. If the application is rejected based on an adverse examination report, you will have 15 months from the date of rejection to respond and have your application reconsidered. If the period lapses while the response to the report has not been reconsidered, an extension may be granted under section 224 of the Trademarks Act of 1995 if you choose to invoke it.