Looking to register a trademark Australia?
Wondering where to begin?
Fret not! You’re looking at the right place.
In this post, we mull over how to go about applying for a trademark in Australia, documentation, legal assistance, and everything else in between.
Knowing the basics right
Simply put, trademarking is a unique and full-proof way to help identify your product or services.
One might refer to it as a protection criterion for a brand to further distinguish your offerings from that of your competitors. However, besides promising you exclusive rights for usage and licence, trademarking also serves as a potent marketing tool as it adds value to your business.
In Australia, there are different trademark classes to choose from. Currently, the number stands at 45 which include classes 1-34 reserved for goods, and the rest 35-45 for services. So, when you are filling out the trademark application form, you might as well choose the “Pick List”, which functions as a search engine for IP Australia and allows one to enter a specific set of keywords running a match with the claims listed for correct classes.
In essence, one can get creative with their trademarking, similar to designing a logo or a jingle for a TVC, or maybe just painting your business name on the sides of a truck or using signage. A trademark can be just about anything–a word, number, graphic, letter, or a combination of all. Take the flying red kangaroo for instance, that you can find imprinted on Qantas aircraft..
Nevertheless, you must remember that a trademark is never to be confused with a business or domain name, which is quite a misconception. Business and company names typically get registered with the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission). While they’re an absolute mandate to be able to run your business on Australian soil, it doesn’t stop anyone from using a similar business name.
Trademark- Grant, Validity, and Removal
When looking to apply for a trademark in Australia, it bears a strong relation to the goods and services that one chooses to apply for. This, however, doesn’t mean every goods and service will qualify for a trademark.
Typically, it has to do with the number of categories you qualify for– the more the categories, the costlier it becomes in terms of upfront government fees. Now, this is where you need to be extremely careful or else you might end up choosing the wrong categories for your goods and services and eventually miss out on adequate protection for your intellectual property. .
Remember, after you have submitted your trademark application, you are not allowed to make any kind of amendments, especially in terms of goods and services listed. Thus, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from a trademark lawyer to help ascertain the right classes and ensure your business gets the protection it needs.
After you have been granted your desired trademark, make sure you actively use it everywhere, or it can be removed due to “non-usage”. Such a step is generally taken to discourage one and all traders from registering several trademarks at one go to beat the competition.
The earliest appeal for a trademark removal due to non-use can be made is five years from the date of filing the trademark application and you will have to demonstrate the trademark has not been in use for at least three years. In case, you are the owner of the particular trademark appealed for removal, you should be getting a notice to defend the same.
In Australia, the validity or lifetime of a trademark is upto 10 years from the date of filing.
As a business owner, you are allowed to place a renewal request before the due date or after six months has passed. Make sure you notify the authorities in case of a change in address so that you don’t miss out on your trademark renewal notice.
Get legal help
Legal issues can arise out of nowhere when applying for a trademark application in Australia. There can be instances like trademark oppositions or delays in enforcement. Hence, a seasoned trademark lawyer can help seal the odd places.
Besides, one will also have to adequately monitor the marketplace to do away with chances of trademark infringement. Undeniably, for businesses looking to register a trademark in Australia, it’s a wholesome process that requires legal assistance.
From drafting applications, trademark disputes, grants, enforcement, refusals, or dealing with Australian business register services, it is recommended to work out things with a specialised law firm for complete peace of mind.