How do I apply for a trademark?
Would a trademark lawyer please walk through the steps for trademark application in Australia?
I'd firstly like to clarify that you don't have to use a trademark lawyer in relation to your trademark matters; you can "DIY" (although not always recommended) or a specialist/consultant.
The first step I encourage clients take is having a trademark search conducted. This can rule out and/or advise on possible problems early on. (The registration process is lengthy so this can help avoid wasting time...) Some companies, including my own, will offer a basic search at no cost. Alternatively, more comprehensive searches are available for a fee.
If the search is clear, an application is filed with the trademarks office in Australia. At this time you must nominate goods/services of interest to you that your trademark will be used to identify. The filing of an application is your way of telling the government that you believe you are within your right to apply, and that you have an honest intent to use your trademark.
The government department must then examine the application and issue their results. A standard application will take around 4 months to be examined. If no problems are found the mark is accepted for registration. If problems are found a report is issued providing you a chance to address those issues.
After acceptance, the mark goes through a 3-month opposition period, where other people may object to the registration. Assuming no objections are filed in this time then the mark can be registered upon receipt of final fees.
Registration is valid for 10 years in Australia and can be renewed each 10 years.
Hi Phil, in our experience the above answer is a clear and neutral guide. We work with many clients applying for trademarks and always recommend hiring an expert at the start of the branding process. The investment is always worth while.