3 Benefits of Using a TM Headstart Application
Applying for a trade mark can be an overwhelming process. To combat this, a TM Headstart application can provide applicants with valuable guidance when applying for a registered trade mark. Unlike a standard trade mark application, a TM Headstart application gives applicants an assessment of their application before they formally apply for a registered trade mark. In this sense, it adds a step before you formally apply for a trade mark to ensure that your application is in good shape. This article outlines:
- three benefits for using a TM Headstart application; and
- how to apply for a TM Headstart application.
Benefit #1: Expert Examination
Your application is either accepted or rejected based on the review conducted when applying for a standard trade mark application. On the other hand, a TM Headstart application provides you with an assessment results report to identify any potential problems that may arise before you formally submit your trade mark application. For example, the examiner might point out that a similar trade mark already exists concerning the goods or services you have applied for.
Whilst the examiner cannot advise you as to the best option to pursue or guarantee that your eventual application will be successful, the report will provide you with the information to make an informed decision concerning your application. For example, once you receive your assessment results report, this can then inform your decision as to whether you wish to:
- pursue your formal trade mark application;
- amend your trade mark application; or
- withdraw your trade mark application.
Benefit #2: Amending Your Application
Once you submit a standard trade mark application, you can only make minor amendments to your application. This is because after you file your trade mark, IP Australia will publicly post your application. For larger amendments, such as including additional classes of goods or services to your trade mark application, you will likely have to register for a completely new trade mark and pay for registration again.
On the other hand, a TM Headstart application allows you to make adjustments to your application before you formally apply. This is particularly useful if the examiner has identified any issues in your application that would require amending.
For example, a good or service may fall under various classes, such as a ‘computer program’ that falls under four different classes in the Trade Mark Search. Once you receive your assessment results report, you can amend the classes to suit your preference. Once you make an amendment, the examiner can continue to reassess your application. This reassessment may require an additional cost.
Benefit #3: Timing
While many potential trade mark applicants turn away from the registration process because of the perceived time it takes to register, a TM Headstart application provides a quick turnaround on the assessment of your application. Within five working days of submitting your application, the examiner will respond to you with an assessment results report. After you receive this report, you then have five days to:
- pursue a formal application by paying the Part 2 fee;
- make amendments to your application and resubmit for further assessment; or
- withdraw your application by not paying the Part 2 fee.
How to Apply for a TM Headstart Application
You can make TM Headstart applications via IP Australia’s online services. Before you submit your application, you should consider:
- the type of trade mark you wish to apply for;
- the class of goods or services that your trade mark will protect; and
- searching the Trade Mark Register to ensure that you are not applying for a trade mark that has been registered by someone else.
Once you consider the points above, you can then make an application. Overall, if you have already prepared your information before making your TM Headstart application, the application process should only take 10 to 15 minutes.
If you then decide to pursue a formal application after receiving your assessment results report, you must then pay the Part 2 fee within five working days of receiving the report. Paying the Part 2 fee will formalise your application and will determine whether you can register your trade mark or not.
A TM Headstart application is not the only way you can apply for a registered trade mark. However, it can provide you with valuable guidance when undertaking trade mark registration. It provides you with an expert report identifying any issues in your application. Additionally, it is also a time-efficient process that can be useful if you need to make amendments to your application. If you need further legal assistance with undertaking a TM Headstart application or any other trade mark legal assistance, our experienced trade mark lawyers can assist. Call us on 1300 657 423 or complete the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the total cost for a TM Headstart application starts at $330, whereas the total cost for a standard application starts at $250. However, a TM Headstart application provides you with services that a standard application does not.
It cannot assess certain types of trade marks, such as series trade marks, certification trade marks, and collective trade marks. Applying for these types of trade marks requires different processes.
A standard application is the formal process of registering a trade mark with IP Australia. Under a standard application, you do not receive a pre-assessment of your application like you would under a TM Headstart application.