Trade marks


A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods and services from those of another business.

Understanding trade marks

Sometimes called a brand, a good trade mark helps your business stand out in the marketplace.

Trade mark basics

Find out what a trade mark is and learn about the differences between a trade mark and a design right, registered business name or domain name.

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Types of trade marks

A trade mark is not limited to being a corporate logo. It could also be a jingle, your registered business name painted on the side of your truck or even a scent.

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Benefits of a trade mark

A trade mark can be your most valuable marketing tool. It is your business identity that helps you promote your products or services.


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Examination process

The examination process is where we check your application to make sure it contains all the correct information and meets legislative requirements.

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Applying for a trade mark

Below is an overview of the trade mark application process.

    Decide if you have a trade mark

    Before you apply for a trade mark there are some common mistakes to watch out for and some useful questions to ask yourself.

    Understanding goods and services

    You will be asked to select the goods or services you intend to use your trade mark on. These need to be grouped into classes.


    Before registering a trade mark it helps to do a search to make sure the trade mark you want to use is available.


    There are two main paths you can take to apply for a trade mark.

    Application outcome

    Once you submit your trade mark application it takes us up to four months to examine it and let you know the outcome.

Managing your trade mark

Managing your trade mark helps you maximise benefits, commercial advantage and ensures your trade mark is protected. This includes making sure your trade mark is kept current by paying the renewal fees and making changes to your registration details if and when required.

Maintaining your trade mark


A trade mark registration may be renewed every ten years. There are fees for renewing your trade mark.

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Trade marks and opposition


Oppositions can be lengthy, complex and costly. If you are considering filing or defending an opposition, it may be in your interests to seek help from an IP professional.

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International trade marks

An Australian trade mark provides protection only within Australia.

There are two ways Australian trade mark owners can seek trade mark protection overseas.

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More about trade marks...

It may feel like you’re traversing a minefield in cross country skis when you go to register your trade mark but it really shouldn’t be a difficult

Canberran Trish Smith sat on a plane waiting for take-off.

17 September 2020

The misuse of Indigenous Knowledge including art, culture, language or adopting a similar style is offensive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It can undermine cultural practices and affect the economic opportunities available for authentic products.

3 September 2020

We are upgrading our Trade Mark Classification Search.