How to Retrieve Your Trade Mark Number
Once IP Australia has approved a registered trade mark, a unique trade mark number identifies your trade mark. Therefore, you will need to identify your trade mark number in the relevant documents in the instance where you want to license, assign or renew your trade mark. This article outlines two ways to retrieve your trade mark number and provides two tips that you should consider to avoid losing your trade mark number.
Certificate of Registration
Your first port of call for retrieving your registered trade mark number is by retrieving your Certificate of Registration. IP Australia will give you a Certificate of Registration when or after your trade mark has been approved for registration. This certificate will include relevant details, the most important being your unique trade mark number. If you cannot find your Certificate of Registration, you can request a duplicate certificate from IP Australia. However, this request will cost $250. To avoid this cost, it is important that you safely store any information you have regarding your trade mark.
Conduct a Trade Mark Search
Your second port of call for retrieving your registered trade mark number is the Australian Trade Mark Search. The Trade Mark Search or Trade Mark Registry is a publicly available registry that details all of the trade marks that IP Australia has registered or removed. When searching the Registry, you can conduct a range of searches to identify your lost trade mark number.
1. Quick Search
You can retrieve your trade mark number by conducting a quick search of the Registry. This would involve you searching keywords associated with your trade marked name or phrase or uploading an image of your trade marked logo.
For example, say you have trade marked your business name ‘Bill’s Cleaning Service’. Then, you can simply enter your business name in the Registry and select your trade mark.
You can also select any trade mark listed on the Registry to reveal further information regarding the trade mark. This information includes the:
- trade mark number;
- owner’s name and contact details;
- filing and renewal date; and
- class or classes of goods and services that the trade mark protects.
2. Advanced Search
Whilst a quick search will provide you with a wide range of results, it may be difficult to find your specific trade mark. Fortunately, you can narrow your search results by conducting an advanced search. In addition, by conducting an advanced search, you can enter other details about your trade mark that you have on hand, such as its date of lodgement or your Australian Business Number (ABN).
An advanced search is also useful if your registered trade mark includes a name or phrase containing more than one word. For example, if you want to search your trade mark containing the phrase ‘cleaning service’, an advanced search can identify registered trade marks with both terms present, as opposed to a quick search which would include any trade marks which contain the words ‘cleaning’ or ‘service.’
An advanced search also can conduct an ‘exact’ search of the terms you have selected. This means the search options generated will only include the terms that you have selected. By conducting an advanced search of your specific trade mark, you can refine the results and identify your registered trade mark number.
Tips to Avoid Losing Your Trade Mark Number
You can take a number of steps as a trade mark owner to avoid losing your trade mark number.
1. Update Your Records
A simple way you can avoid losing your trade mark number is by updating your records. Since trade marks are an intangible form of intellectual property, you must regularly update information regarding your trade mark. This would include updating your information both externally (with IP Australia) and internally (within your business).
Updating your information externally is critical if IP Australia or a third party needs to contact you to inquire about application renewal, opposition, or potential commercial opportunities. Therefore, by updating your information internally, you can keep track of how you use your trade mark and secure important information regarding your registered trade mark, like its trade mark number.
2. Conduct an IP Audit
Updating your information internally might also require you to conduct an IP audit. An IP audit involves a systematic review of any intellectual property that your business owns or uses. An IP audit aims to identify the intellectual property within the business and its owner, value, legal status, and any future usage of the intellectual property.
IP audits are usually conducted by a team consisting of a specialised IP lawyer and someone familiar with your business’ internal operation. Whilst anyone can conduct an IP audit, it would be wise to seek the expertise of a specialised IP lawyer since they have experience in the field and can provide invaluable advice. Once you have conducted an IP audit, you should make a database to note all the information regarding the intellectual property within your business. This database would be a useful place to store information, such as a trade mark number, so that you can easily retrieve this information.
You can retrieve your lost trade mark number by searching for your trade mark on the Australian Trade Mark Search or by retrieving your Certificate of Registration. To avoid losing your trade mark number in the future, you should continuously update information regarding your trade mark internally within your business and externally with IP Australia. If you need help with retrieving your trade mark number, our experienced trade mark lawyers can assist. Call us on 1300 657 423 or complete the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Under the Trade Marks Act, a registered trade mark is protected for 10 years from its filing date.
The frequency of IP audits within a business depends on its size and how much of its activity relies on intellectual property. Generally, you should conduct IP audits annually to ensure that IP information remains up to date.