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Frequently Asked Questions 

The trademarking process in Australia can be difficult for those unaware of the legalities, and so you may have a lot of questions. Here are answers to some of the most pressing questions…

Have the legalities of trademarking in Australia left you confused?

Clear your dilemmas by reading through the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is your intellectual property and business asset that helps set your products apart from others. It can be a business name, logo, symbol, shape, phrase, letterhead, signage, etc. The trademark gives you exclusive rights over the trademarked property.

Is registering my business name the same as registering a trademark?

No. The business name is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and does not grant you exclusive rights to the business' name. A trademark of your business name, however, will prevent others from using the same or similar name.

What are trademark classes?

The trademark classes define the description and scope of goods and services and divide them into 45 distinct classes. For example, if you are trademarking paint products, they will come under Class 2, pharmaceutical goods under Class 5, and so on. 

Can the same trademark apply to all countries if I intend to take my business overseas?

Not exactly. You have to register your trademark in each country of operation, and with the right authority for it to be valid. For example, registering with IP Australia gives you a certificate of trademark registration valid for Australia only.

How long will it take to get my trademark approval?

The usual wait period to get a trademark approved for registration from IP Australia is a minimum of 7 months from the date of filing.

What if I decide to make changes to my intellectual property after obtaining the trademark?

While you can make new changes, the trademark obtained only protects the version it was registered for and not any modifications, nor expanding the scope to which the goods and services were filed. In case of a revamped logo, phrase, or any other form of intellectual property that can be trademarked, you will need to file a new application in obtaining a new trademark.

What is trademark opposition?

Once your trademark is accepted by the IP Australia, it will be advertised for 2 months.  During this, it can be opposed by anyone who fills an opposition form with the Australian IP office. The grounds for opposition can be lack of distinctness, similarity to an already registered trademark, etc.

What is the validity of an Australian trademark?

10 years. After the initial ten years, you can renew your trademark for another decade, and so on.

When should I renew my trademark?

You can renew your trademark 1 year before or, 6 months after the date of renewal (aka six-month grace period, payment will constitute with surcharge). Your trade mark will no longer have any rights arising from registration once the expiry date has passed. If the renewal fee is not paid by the end of the six-month grace period, your trade mark will be removed from the register and cannot be restored.

Is the trademark registration process expensive?

While the process can become cost-heavy, Harbour Trade Marks and its upfront, fixed fee structure make it easy on the pocket and hassle-free. No hidden costs, no time lost – register your trademark today.

Can’t find your question in the list?

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