If you have goods or services that you want to advertise in Australia and you want to put your company’s logo or brand name on them, then you need to file a trademark registration form for the name, logo or both. This trademark filing will grant you the sole right to use your name and/or logo in Australia.
The trademark registration process in Australia can be done in 4 easy steps. These are the steps that most people will need to take. However, if you file for a Headstart application, then the steps for that are a bit different.
1. Conduct a Search for the Trademark
When you have a logo and/or name that you want to file as a trademark, you need to perform a trademark search first. That way, you can make sure that no one else in Australia is using a similar trademarked logo and/or name already. If they are and you don’t find out before filing your application, then your registration request will be denied. On top of that, IP Australia might take action against you for infringing on the rights of another company.
Now, you may have been using your current brand name for years without any legal problems. But that doesn’t mean you won’t face problems during the trademark registration process. You still need to conduct a trademark search just to make sure. The Australian trademark registration process can take many months to complete. The fees that you paid for the trademark application filing are non-refundable. That means if your application is denied, there will be no refund of the filing fees that you paid. Therefore, a trademark search is the only way to avoid these issues.
2. Trademark Application Filing & Picking the Classes
The logo and/or name of your trademark is going to be associated with certain services or goods that you’re promoting in Australia. For this reason, you must inform IP Australia as to what they actually are.
Australia uses “classes” to define services and goods. There are 35 classes for goods and 10 classes for services, giving you a total of 45 classes to choose from. During the trademark registration process, you must choose which classes match your goods or services the most.
3. Trademark Application Examination
After you have submitted your application, it will be examined by IP Australia. They will review all the details of the application to make sure you have met the minimum requirements for the filing. More importantly, they will make sure that no one else possesses a similar trademark as the one you want to register.
The examination process may take as long as 6 months to be finished. The outcome of the examination will be one of two things. Either IP Australia will send a notice of acceptance to indicate the approval of the trademark registration or they will send a report outlining the issues that are preventing the registration from getting approved.
4. The Trademark Advertisement
If your trademark application has gotten approval from IP Australia, the logo and/or name will be published in the “Official Journal of Trademarks.” For the next 2 months, the Australian public will have the chance to file an opposition statement against your trademark application. This statement must outline valid reasons as to why they are opposing it.
In most cases, there will be no opposition within those 2 months. If this is the case with your application, then your trademark will become fully registered with IP Australia. The entire registration process from beginning to end can take as long as 8 months.