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Australia is becoming a bigger import and export market for Western and Asian countries alike. As late as 2015, Australia signed a free trade agreement (ChAFTA) with China, and in 2019, import duties for wine was reduced to 0.
Yet, before you start doing business in Australia, it’s important that you understand whether you need a trademark certification. This is particularly true for exports of retail products, food & beverages, and more.
Therefore, I’ve written this article where I explain how it works when registering a trademark in Australia, how much it costs, the process, when you need to renew the trademark, and more. Let’s have a look.
How do I apply for a trademark in Australia?
Registering a trademark in Australia is straightforward compared to many other Asian countries. For example, it’s not as time consuming and difficult compared to China, that we’ve covered in a separate article.
So how’s the process when applying for and registering a trademark in Australia? There are three main steps involved. Let’s have a look at each one.
1. Determine what classes to apply for
First of all, you need to know what classes your products or services belong to. In Australia, there are 45 classes in total, where 34 are used for products and 11 for services. Two examples of product classes are:
Trademark Class 18:
Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made of these materials and not included in other classes; animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags; umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery.
Trademark Class 21:
Household or kitchen utensils and containers; combs and sponges; brushes (except paint brushes); brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steel wool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes.
When it comes to services, two examples of trademark classes are:
Trademark Classes 35:
Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.
Trademark Classes 43:
Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation.
Before you can search for or register a trademark, you need to determine which classes to use, or let a 3rd party help you to do so. We strongly recommend the latter option to make the process as smooth and hassle free as possible.
2. Trademark search
When you know which classes your products belong to, it’s to time to check whether the trademark is already used. In addition, companies or individuals might be in the process of registering that trademark, and this should be checked as well.
You can do a quick search on IP Australia’s website to see if the trademark is registered or currently being registered.
You can also contact a separate service provider for more in-depth analysis and trademark search. They will also determine the likelihood of your trademark being successfully registered in Australia.
If you want to get in touch with a leading trademark registration agent in Australia, simply fill in the form at the bottom of this article. They’ll be back to you within 24 hours.
3. Trademark registration process & time needed
When you’ve made a trademark search, it’s time to start the trademark application process. The application should be submitted online.
The same as it goes with the trademark search, you can get consultancy and support from a 3rd party that can also manage the application for you. The second option is to register the trademark with IP Australia directly.
On the contrary to China, where a trademark registration can take as long as 18-24 months, a trademark registration takes 7.5 months on average. Below I’ve listed the different steps involved and the time needed for each.
a. Examination of trademark registration application
The examination of the trademark generally takes 3-4 months, but can be both shorter or longer. Keep in mind that this is just the average time.
b. Approval or objection of the filing
When the trademark is approved, it will be advertised in the bulletin as approved. This is sometimes referred to as the gazette in other countries, like Singapore.
People can object to the filing during two months after the trademark is registered. After the two months have passed, the trademark is officially approved will proceed for registration.
c. Receiving the certificate of registration
Finally, you receive the certificate of registration and the process is completed. Your trademark will now be protected for 10 years.
How much does it cost to register a trademark in Australia?
The government has introduced new trademark application fees that are higher than previously and range up to AUD 480.
At the same time, the government has removed the trademark registration fee, which is the standard among members of the Madrid Protocol.
The cost to hire a 3rd party is similar or can be slightly higher, but below 500 US dollars for both a trademark search and to register the trademark.
Below I’ve included some other frequently asked questions and my answers. Feel free to write a comment below if you have any other questions! You can also contact us by email.
Do I need a lawyer to register a trademark in Australia?
It’s not compulsory to work with a trademark lawyer. Yet, we recommend you to do so as the process sometimes be a bit complicated. Might it be that the application needs to be amended, or that you simply can’t figure out what classes your products belong to.
And what should you do if your application is rejected or if someone opposes your trademark registration? Oftentimes, a trademark expert can find issues that might lead to a rejection, as such, hiring a third party gave save you both time and money.
Does IP Australia charge GST?
No, GST isn’t charged by IP Australia when registering a trademark.
Can I register a trademark without a company?
Yes. You don’t need to have a business to register a trade mark. You can file an application as an individual person.
How often do I need to renew my trademark?
You need to renew the trademark every 10th year and it costs 400 AUD. You can pay the renewal fee 12 months before the renewal due date and up to six months after the date expires. Additional fees apply if the registration is renewed after the expiry date.
Do you need to register a trademark in Australia? Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of the leading trademark registration companies.
If you need to register a trademark and look for a trademark registration company, you can fill in the form below to get in touch with the agent we recommend at the moment. You’ll also get a 10% discount for trademark searches!