How to Trademark a Name in Australia?

Trademarking your business or brand name is a powerful way to protect your professional identity. Your trademark could be a word, phrase, symbol, logo, or any other visual element that sets your brand apart.

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Registering a trademark gives you exclusive legal rights to use it for your business. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to trademark a name in Australia so you can differentiate your business and safeguard your unique brand.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive, unique sign that represents a brand, business, or product. A trademark in Australia needs to be registered with IP Australia per the Trade Marks Act 1995.

When you register your business with ASIC, you have no legal rights to your business name. This means that legally, someone else can use it too. Also, if the name is already registered as a trademark in Australia, you may be using it illegally.

Trademarking your name and logo offers you exclusive rights to use it. No one else can use it (or anything similar) without your permission. If they do, you can take legal action against them.

How to Trademark a Name in Australia

How to trademark a name in Australia?

Steps to trademark a name in Australia

Registering a trademark in Australia involves confirming you’re eligible and then filing an application with IP Australia. The process is straightforward but needs close attention to detail to ensure you’re not in conflict with any existing trademarks.

    1. Understanding Eligibility

To be able to register for a trademark, make sure the element you’re registering is truly unique. According to the laws for trademarks in Australia, it should be distinctly different from any existing trademarks. Moreover, it should not already be registered.

You have to reside in Australia or New Zealand to register a trademark here. Alternatively, you could appoint a representative within the country, like Macmillan Lawyers and Advisors. Get in touch if you need to register trademarks from outside of Australia.

    1. Do Thorough Research

Before choosing what you want to trademark, use IP Australia’s trademark search feature. You’ll be able to explore the registry of trademarks in the country.

Identify possible conflicts and adjust your name or logo accordingly. If you’re unsure of how to trademark a name in Australia that may conflict with something else, seeking legal advice is the best way forward.

    1. Preparing and Filing Your Application

To apply, you need to create an account with IP Australia. You can file a standard application or use the TM Headstart service.

When filing your application, you’ll need to choose the correct type of trademark (word, logo, symbol, etc.). You’ll also need to select the correct class of goods and/or services, as well as provide an accurate representation of your mark.

    1. Examination and Response

Once submitted, IP Australia will examine your trademark application. If they have questions or objections, they will notify you. You can then adjust your mark and resubmit, if necessary. At this point, legal advice may be useful to ensure success on your second submission.

    1. Registration and Enforcement

If your registration of trademark application is successful, you’ll be given a registered trademark, along with full trademarking rights. Although others can oppose your trademark, in most cases it’s granted without problems.

Once your trademark has been registered, you’re responsible for maintaining it. This entails updating IP Australia if details change and renewing your trademark every 10 years.

Why Should You Trademark in Australia?

Registered trademarks in Australia have a range of benefits over unregistered names or logos. Trademark a logo or name to:

    • Prevent imitation: Stop other brands from using names or logos that are very similar to yours, which could cause confusion and lead to financial losses.

    • Add brand credibility: Having a registered trademark not only cements your brand identity, but this also makes you come across as more professional and credible.

    • Get legal rights: If someone tries to use your assets or piggyback on your success by imitating your brand, you can take legal action.

    • Open up licensing opportunities: You may be able to license your trademark and gain additional income.

    • Protect intellectual property: You’ll have the legal power to protect your business, your brand’s visual identity, any distinctive sounds, such as unique jingles connected to your product or service, as well as every other registered mark associated with your brand and business.

What Can Be Trademarked?

Trademarks can include brand names, logos, typography, phrases (taglines and slogans), colours, sounds, and even scents! As long as they meet the requirements of being distinctive, unique, and not misleading or offensive.

How Much Does Trademarking Cost?

The cost of registering trademarks depends on how many classes of goods and services you’re applying for. A standard application will cost a minimum of $250. If you apply through TM Headstart, you’ll pay a minimum of $330.

You’ll also need to factor in costs if you have legal help. While it may cost a little more, it will save you time and ensure your application is properly filed.

How Long Does Trademark Protection Last?

In Australia, your registered trademark is valid for an initial period of 10 years. There is no limit to how many times you can renew your trademark.

Who Should Consider Trademarking in Australia?

Who should consider trademarking in Australia?

Entities or Individuals that should consider getting a trademark

Trademarking in Australia is helpful for all types of businesses, from small businesses to entrepreneurs. Consider trademarking a business name, logo, or other intellectual property if you are:

  • A small business or start-up: Great way to establish brand identity and get legal protection from the start
  • An entrepreneur or inventor: Safeguard innovative ideas and unique product names
  • An expanding business: Secure your brand's presence and exclusivity
  • A freelancer: Protect your professional identity and sets you apart from others
  • A marketing/branding specialist: Understanding the legal framework for brand protection is essential for advising clients and creating effective brand strategies.

Contact Macmillan Lawyers and Advisors for answers to all your questions about how to trademark a name in Australia. Our experienced team is ready to guide you through the entire process.

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How to Trademark a Name in Australia FAQs

Contact Macmillan Lawyers and Advisors Today for a Free Consultation

Ready to take the first step in protecting your brand? Contact Macmillan Lawyers and Advisors for a free 30-minute consultation.

Phone: 073 518 8030

Email: [email protected]

Visit us at: Level 38, 71 Eagle Street, Brisbane QLD 4000


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