n. 1. Abbr. TM. A name, symbol, or other device identifying a product, officially registered and legally restricted to the use of the owner or manufacturer. Source.

Got a fantastic logo or brand name? Designed the most awesome packaging?

Built up a great reputation in a trade name?  If you use a trade mark it will be something that acts as a badge to identify your business or product. People will see your trade mark and know the product or service to expect and hopefully will chose your product or service over others. Your trade mark is a valuable asset to your business and should be protected. Trade mark registration acts as an effective deterrent against others adopting the same trade mark and trade mark registration owners are in a stronger position to take action against potential infringers using their trade mark without permission.

To register a trade mark there are three stages:

1. File Application
2. Search & Examination
3. Acceptance & Registration

1. File Application

Trade Mark applications are lodged at IP Australia and include an application, representation of the mark, details of the owner, details the goods and services and payment of official fees.

2. Search & Examination

IP Australia will search for similar trade marks on the Australian trade marks database and may cite them as a barrier to registration. The application will also be examined to make sure the application meets the requirements of the Trade Marks Act. Any issues found in the search and examination will be raised in an examination report. Submissions may be made then to try to overcome the objections and to put the application in order for acceptance.

3. Acceptance & Registration

The accepted application will be published to allow an opportunity for third parties to oppose the registration. Once the opposition period has been traversed and registration fees paid the application will proceed to registration.
Typically a trade mark is registered within 1-2 years of filing. Expedited examination can be requested so that the results of search and examination can be known within a few weeks.
A registered trade mark usually remains on the register for ten years from the filing date. Renewal fees may be paid to extend the period of registration for a further 10 years and every ten years for as long as the trade mark is of interest and is used. TJ IP™ Patent, Trade Mark & Designs™ intellectual property services are provided based on extensive trade mark experience and can carefully handcraft a strong and effective trade mark application for you. If you would like further information do please contact us.

Registering an Australian trade mark typically costs A$1500-A$2500 from filing through to registration. The cost generally depends on the number of classes of goods and services and the nature of objections raised during examination.
Trade mark applications can also be lodged overseas through our network of Associates in countries around the world. The process of obtaining trade mark registration overseas is usually similar to that in Australia. The costs vary from country to country but are typically the same or more than in Australia for each country of interest. If many countries are of interest the Madrid trade marks system can be used to make a single application which can achieve registration in the countries of choice. If you are interested in overseas applications please contact us for a cost estimate.
An Australian trade mark application will have a search conducted by IP Australia for other similar marks during the application process. However trade mark searches can be conducted before filing to assess the likelihood of success or potential problems with the chosen mark and the availability to use the mark. These searches may be just within Australia or in a selection of countries of interest. Other searches such as due diligence and number or owner searches are also available; contact us if searches are of interest.
If a registered trade mark is used without authority with respect to the registered goods or services or similar there may be infringement. The registered owner may take action to try to prevent the infringing activity and possibly obtain damages. If you are aware of infringement or would like to take action to avoid potential infringement contact us so that we may advise you. If you are worried you may be infringing anothers rights investigations can be made into the registered trade mark.

The above information is intended as an introduction only and professional advice on your situation should be sought before taking any action.
If you would like a free initial discussion on possible patent rights please contact Tara Parish by e-mail or call  +61 (0)7 4772 5775.