Where is My Trade Mark Registered?
A trade mark registration is one type of intellectual property (IP) protection that gives you exclusive rights to the use and commercialisation of your trade mark. A trade mark can help distinguish your brand from your competitors, even in international markets. If you are considering registering your trade mark, you might be wondering exactly where the registration occurs. This article will take you through what you need to know about where your trade mark will be registered and where it will be protected.
Australian Trade Mark Registration
IP Australia is a government agency that administers intellectual property rights in Australia, including trade marks. IP Australia also administers legislation relating to trade marks, including determining what you can and cannot register as a trade mark. For example, you may find it difficult to register trade marks that are:
- words describing goods or services;
- commonly used words or phrases;
- acronyms or abbreviations commonly used in relations to goods or services; and
- geographical names or other common names, such as surnames.
If your trade mark is eligible for registration, you can apply to register it by filing a trade mark application. You can file this application directly with IP Australia. This application requires details about your and your trade mark and requires payment of a filing fee. IP Australia will then assess your trade mark. If successful, it will be placed on IP Australia’s trade mark register.
Trade marks registered with IP Australia are protected nationwide. If you wish to have protection beyond Australia, you must consider international trade mark registration.
How Long Does Australian Trade Mark Protection Last?
Once IP Australia places your trade mark on their trade mark register, it will stay there for an initial 10 year period. This 10 year period starts from the date you file your trade mark. As the 10 year mark approaches, you will need to consider renewing your trade mark. You can renew trade marks 12 months before your renewal date or up to six months after this date (with extra fees involved).
If you do not renew your trade mark, IP Australia will remove it from the register. Unfortunately, this means that you will lose your registered rights to your trade mark and it may become more difficult to prevent others from using your trade mark.
International Trade Mark Registration
If you wish to trade outside of Australia, you might want to consider international trade mark registration to protect your brand assets on an international scale. Some benefits of protecting your trade mark internationally include:
- being able to prevent other businesses from making or selling your product;
- expanding your business opportunities by giving you entry to overseas markets; and
- ensuring you are not infringing on someone else’s trade mark before operating overseas.
How to Register an International Trade Mark
There are two approaches you may take to protect your trade mark overseas. This includes:
- making an application directly to each country you wish to register your trade mark in; or
- filing an international application through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
If you choose the WIPO approach, you can apply for a trade mark in up to 124 countries party to the Madrid System with one single application. This is a convenient and cost-effective way to protect your trade mark overseas.
However, it is important to consider that this does not provide you with one single trade mark registered on an international level. Instead, the WIPO will examine your trade mark application and pass it on to each applicable country, which will then examine your application separately. This means that your trade mark will be placed on each country’s trade mark register separately.
How Long Does Overseas Trade Mark Protection Last?
Similar to Australia, trade mark registration in most countries lasts for 10 years, starting from the date of your trade mark application. You can then renew your trade mark for further 10 year periods as many times as necessary. Again, if you do not renew your trade mark, IP Australia will remove it from the trade mark register, and you will lose your rights to it.
If you are considering registering your trade mark, you might be wondering exactly where it will be registered. Some key things to note about trade marks include that:
- IP Australia will protect registered trade marks Australia-wide; and
- if you want to protect your trade mark internationally, you will need to file separate trade mark applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you plan on trading overseas, you should consider registering an international trade mark. This will prevent others from making unauthorised use of your trade mark, and ensure you are not infringing on someone else’s trade mark in an international context.
If you are considering registering a trade mark, you might be wondering exactly where registration will occur. IP Australia protects trade marks registered through them nationwide. However, if you want to protect your trade mark internationally, you will need to file separate trade mark applications. Most trade mark registrations are initially registered for 10 years. Then, you can renew them.