Trade marks, which distinguish one trader's goods or services from those of another, are valuable commercial tools that protect the reputation and goodwill in a trader's business and protect the public from counterfeit goods or unauthorised services.
Trade mark protection is generally available in Australia for "signs" which can distinguish the goods or services of a particular trader in the marketplace, such as words, numerals, letters, devices, logos, shapes, and even scents and sounds.
- Benefits of registering a trade mark
- Trade mark services
- Basic filing requirements
- Taking your intellectual property further
Benefits of registering a trade mark
Registration of a trade mark is not mandatory, but does confer very substantial commercial benefits. For instance:
- A trade mark registration confers nationwide rights (in most cases).
- A registered trade mark will be an obstacle to any subsequent application by a competitor to register the same or a similar trade mark.
- The Trade Marks Act confers legally enforceable rights upon a registered trade mark that make it far easier, more certain and less expensive to enforce rights in a registered trade mark than in one that is not registered.
- Rights in an unregistered trade mark only arise where a substantial reputation has been developed in the relevant trade mark. To enforce these rights, you must prove a substantial reputation in the trade mark, a very time-consuming and expensive task.
- Unregistered rights only exist in the geographical area in which such a substantial reputation can be shown to exist.
Trade mark services
Our trade mark team can help you along every step of the way, including:
- conducting searches to establish registrability or likely availability to use a trade mark;
- filing trade mark applications (including advice on the specification of goods or services, or both) in Australia and overseas;
- responding to examination reports;
- trade mark oppositions;
- renewal of trade mark registrations;
- portfolio management;
- infringement and registrability opinions; and
- Intellectual Property audits, advising you of appropriate screening protocols for your registrable trade marks and infringement risk management.
In Australia, no power of attorney or authorisation of agent form is required.
The following information is required to file a trade mark application in Australia:
- the applicant's full name and address;
- a clear representation of the trade mark (preferably in electronic format if a device or logo);
- the class(es) in which the application is to be filed;
- a description of the goods and/or services; and
- details of any convention priority claim.
Taking your intellectual property further
Our patent attorney practice works very closely with our associated law firm, Allens, to provide you with advice on all aspects of trade marks. Allens specialised trade mark lawyers can help you to take your trade marks further in both the commercialisation of your brand and the enforcement of your trade marks, as well as advise you on how to defend an infringement allegation or to remove a competitor's trade mark registration.
Our associated law firm Allens operates in alliance with Linklaters LLP.