5 Steps to Register a Trade Mark for an Image
Trade marks can take a number of forms, such as a word, scent, song, or product shape. A trade mark can also take the form of an image, which is particularly useful if you want to register your business logo as a trade mark. To help you trade navigate the process, this article will take you through five steps to registering a trade mark for an image.
1. Check the Trade Mark Requirements
The first step to registering a trade mark for an image is to check that your image meets the eligibility requirements. There are several things that you need to consider to ensure your trade mark is eligible for registration. This includes checking that your image is:
- not a prohibited sign, such as the Red Cross symbol or a flag;
- unique to your business; and
- not a depiction of your goods or services.
Once you have determined that your image is eligible for a trade mark, you will be able to continue to the next step.
2. Choose a Class of Goods and Services
The second step to registering a trade mark for an image is choosing what class of goods and services your trade mark belongs to. When you apply to register a trade mark for your image, you will need to nominate which category, or ‘class’, you will use it under. There are 45 classes you can choose from (34 goods and 11 services).
You must choose the most suitable trade mark classes because IP Australia, the body that registers trade marks, will only protect your trade mark under the goods and services classes you have chosen. Despite this, you can apply to register your image under more than one class.
3. Conduct a Trade Mark Search
The next step you should take to protect your image is to conduct a trade mark search. You can use a trade mark search to ensure that there are no identical or similar trade marks to your proposed trade mark, making it eligible for registration.
You can conduct a free trade mark search using the Australian trade mark search tool ATMOSS. To search for an image on ATMOSS, you will need to search for image elements. Alternatively, you can upload a photo of your image, and ATMOSS will compare it to other trade marks already in the database.
4. Apply for Your Trade Mark
Once you believe your trade mark is available for use, you will be able to apply to trade mark your image. Your application will need to include your name and contact details, a description of the goods and services it applies to, the classes you wish to register your trade mark under, and a visual representation of your image (by uploading a copy of your image). You will also have to pay the required application fee.
If your image does not meet all of IP Australia’s trade mark requirements, you will receive an adverse examination report in response. This report will list all of the reasons you did not meet the requirements. It will also allow you to respond to and overcome these issues. At this time, your image will also be open to objections from others if your trade mark is too similar or identical to their own trade mark.
If your image meets all of IP Australia’s requirements, and there are no unresolved objections to your trade mark, your application will be approved and your image placed on the trade mark register.
5. Monitor Your Trade Mark
After registering your image as a trade mark, you will need to consider that the trade mark process is ongoing. This involves monitoring your trade mark to ensure that nobody is infringing your trade mark rights. If you detect any unauthorised use of your IP, you will be able to take action to stop infringement.
Whether you are registering a trade mark for an image as part of your business’ logo or for any other purpose, there are several key steps to take to trade mark an image. This includes:
- checking the trade mark requirements;
- choosing a class of goods and services;
- conducting a trade mark search;
- applying for your trade mark; and
- monitoring your trade mark after registration.
Registering a trade mark for an image can be a complex process, particularly regarding conducting a trade mark search. If you need help navigating the trade mark process for your image, our experienced trade mark lawyers can help. Get in touch with them on 1300 657 423 or by filling out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
A trade mark is a great way to protect your image. While an unregistered trade mark has some benefits, registering your image as a trade mark will add an extra layer of protection, preventing other brands from using your image or a similar image.
When applying to register a trade mark, you will be required to select one or more classes of goods or services that you will use your trade mark under. There are 45 classes to choose from. Trade mark classes are important because IP Australia will only protect your trade mark under the goods and services classes you have chosen.