Trade Mark Process

A trademark gives you exclusive rights to a name, phrasing, logo, colour or even a smell. This means you can take legal action to prevent others from using it. Check out the process of registering a trademark below.

Please note, this is general information only. You should always refer to IP Australia as your primary source in understanding the trademark process.

You apply for a trademark

 

You can apply online with IP Australia or through an IP Attorney. IP Australia also has a variety of tools such as TM Headstart and Trademark Assist that can aid in the process.

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IP Australia examines your trademark

 

IP Australia checks your trademark to ensure it is in compliance with trademark legislation. They may also note the similarity of your trademark to existing trademarks.

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If your trademark gets 'accepted'

 

Acceptance means the mark is sufficiently unique but acceptance does not mean you own it yet. Sometimes if your trademark is similar to another, IP Australia still accept it but send both parties a letter to advise of the similarity.

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Your trademark goes into the 'opposition phase'

 

During the opposition phase any third party can attack your IP rights and claim that they rightfully own your mark. This is called an opposition. 

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Possible: You encounter an 'opposition'

 

If you encounter an opposition, you need to collect and produce evidence to substantiate that you own the trademark. 

 

There are several outcomes to an opposition:

 

  • You withdraw, relinquishing your right to your

    trademark

  • You fight the dispute and are unsuccessful, losing the right to your

    trademark

  • You fight and are successful, maintaining the right to your trademark

  • Your opponent withdraws, allowing you to use the trademark

  • You and your opponent come to a commercial decision around use, licencing or royalties, which can have a long term effect on your profits

 

The preparation of this and the process of submitting it is complex and often requires expensive legal representation.

 

This is where Trademark Protect: Opposition Cover can provide cover for legal expenses in defending oppositions.

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Your trademark becomes 'registered'

 

If your trademark makes it through the opposition phase, it is then registered with IP Australia. This means you now hold exclusive rights to that mark.

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Your trademark renews every ten years

 

Even though you own the mark, you have to be commercially using the mark in order to maintain the rights to use it. Though, even if you are, you may still encounter a dispute over ownership, these types of disputes are called Application for Removal.

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Possible: You encounter an 'application for removal'

 

Similar to the opposition above, the application for removal can also result in you losing the rights to your trademark completely or settling for a commercial agreement that affects your business profits.

 

Trademark Protect: Registered Trademark Cover can provide cover for your legal expenses in defending your trademark from removal and non-use actions.