5 Tips to Minimise Your Trade Mark Processing Time
As a milestone for protecting your business’ intellectual property (IP), registering a trade mark is an important step for any business. A trade mark is an excellent way to protect your brand assets, establish your business’ reputation and help you stand out from any competitors. Despite the many benefits of filing for trade mark protection, it is often a lengthy and difficult process. From start to finish, the trade mark registration process in Australia takes a minimum of seven months. This article will take you through five tips on how you can minimise your trade mark processing time.
1. Conduct a Thorough Trade Mark Search
Conducting a thorough trade mark search before you submit your trade mark application is one way to minimise your trade mark processing time. You can use a trade mark search to ensure that there are no identical or similar trade marks to your proposed trade mark. If there are no trade marks that are similar or identical to yours, this can help reduce the processing time by:
- eliminating any objections from other businesses; and
- making the process smoother for the trade mark examiner.
2. Request a Trade Mark Headstart
A TM Headstart is a pre-application service that IP Australia offers. This assessment is a way to test if IP Australia will accept your trade mark application. The TM Headstart service has a five day turn around, so it is much faster than the usual three months it takes to hear a response about your application. Taking advantage of this service can help save you time in the long run, as you will be able to:
- know of any errors in your application sooner; and
- respond to any errors before you officially file your application.
3. Respond as Soon as Possible
If your trade mark does not meet IP Australia’s trade mark registration requirements, you will receive an adverse examination report. This report will:
- outline all the reasons your trade mark did not meet the registration requirements; and
- give you an opportunity to respond to these reasons.
You have 15 months to respond to the adverse examination report, which includes the time for an examiner to respond to you. If you receive an adverse examination report, you should respond as soon as possible to avoid adding an extra 15 months to your registration time.
4. Submit an Accurate Trade Mark Application
While it might sound simple, submitting an accurate trade mark application initially is a great way to minimise your trade mark processing time. Ensuring that you have filled in all relevant information and correctly submitted the information initially can save you a lot of time. Once you have lodged your application, you will typically hear back from IP Australia within four months. If your trade mark application has errors and you need to amend it, this will significantly delay the overall processing time
5. Choose a Strong Trade Mark
Choosing a strong trade mark will improve your application, making it easier for the trade mark examiner to process your application. Having a strong trade mark will reduce the chances of receiving an adverse examination report or an objection from another business, both of which can add months to the trade mark processing time. Some factors that could reduce the strength of your trade mark include using:
- common names;
- generic words;
- descriptive words; or
- geographical names.
Registering a trade mark is an important step in your business’ growth. The processing time for trade mark registration can be daunting, but taking measures to reduce the trade mark processing time will help save you time. Some tips to reduce the trade mark processing time include:
- conducting a thorough trade mark search;
- requesting a trade mark pre-examination;
- responding to objections as soon as possible;
- submitting an accurate application; and
- choosing a strong trade mark.
Seeking legal advice and assistance with your trade mark application can help minimise the trade mark processing time. For assistance with applying for a trade mark, our experienced trade mark lawyers can help. Get in touch with them on 1300 657 423 or fill out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
A trade mark is a type of intellectual property (IP) that gives you protection over your brand’s assets. A trade mark gives you exclusive rights to your trade mark and allows you to commercialise your business’ assets.
The trade mark processing time in Australia varies. However, it usually takes anywhere from seven to ten months. If there are any objections to your trade mark, the processing time may be much longer.
While the trade mark processing time is long, there are several ways you can minimise the trade mark processing time. You should conduct a thorough trade mark search before your application, request a trade mark pre-examination, respond to objections as soon as they arise, submit an accurate application and choose a strong trade mark.