Frequently Asked Questions

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a badge of origin used to differentiate your goods or services from those of other traders. A trademark can be a single or multiple word(s), a device (logo), or a slogan. Even a sound or combination of colours can be protected.

If there is a part of your brand or advertising material that you want to be able to stop others from using, contact us today to see if it can be trademarked.

How much does a trademark cost?

The real value in seeking to protect your trademark will come from your trademark attorney, who should provide advice on:

A. The best way to file your trademark, a name on its own, a device (logo) on its own or combination, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the manner in which you use the mark;
B. The exact specification of goods and services that you need to register in (goods and services are classified into 45 different classes) drafted correctly to protect your business;
C. Whether to file the trademark in an individual or company name;
D. Should the trademark be filed in colour or black and white;
E. Should domain name and company (Pty Ltd) references be removed;
F. Is a trademark availability search required. This may detail the trademarks ability to distinguish under the Trademarks Act 1995 and any other trademarks that may be considered substantially identical or deceptively similar which could prevent your trademark being registered under the Trademarks Act 1995.

The exact costs of a trademark are determined by the number of different classes of goods and services you need to register in to correctly protect your trademark (click here for more detail – below).

Please contact us and we can provide a fixed fee proposal to protect your brand.

When should I file my trademark?

The optimum time to search and, if clear, file your trademark is at the time the new brand is ready for the market or as soon as possible thereafter.

The critical date for your trademark application is the filing date. This is the date used to assess if there are other existing similar trademarks that may be raised as objections in an application, and once the application has gone through the entire process to be registered, the filing date is when your trademark is registered from.

To protect your trademark contact us today to get started.

What classes do I need to register my trademark in?

Goods are split into 34 different classes and services split into 10 different classes, with a total of 45 possible classes that you may register your trademark in. An application in Australia can cover multiple classes and the exact commercial name of the goods or services must be detailed in the application. Is it vitally important to register the trademark thoroughly in the first instance as once an application for your trademark is filed goods or services cannot be expanded.

The entire list of goods and services that a trademark may cover would encompasses hundreds of pages, therefore it is imperative you use an expert to prepare a suitable specification to correctly protect your trademark. Our experts have a wealth of experience in professionally and efficiently drafting suitable specifications that will be accepted by the Australian Trademark Office, included as part of our standard fixed fee structure.

Click here for more information.

What is the benefit of a trademark registration?

A business or company name registration in Australia does not provide any recourse if another party copies that name. Registering a trademark for your business will allow you to protect that asset and prevent other parties using them without your consent. Every business has at least 1 trademark!

Registering a trademark is a relatively inexpensive way of protecting your business’s most important assets, its brand.

So for peace of mind and to protect your business brands, contact us to register your trademark today!

Using Trademark Symbols – ® and ™.

Typically the ™ symbol represents to other parties that you use that attribute as a trademark of your business. Use of such may or may not have registered rights attached.

Use of the ® symbol typically indicates that you have a registered trademark. You may only use the ® alongside your trademark once your trademark is registered. It is an offence under the Trademarks Act 1995 to use the ® symbol without having a registered trademark.

To register your trademark and begin using the ® symbol, contact MacMillan Trademarks today.

How long is the process to register a trademark in Australia?

The process of trademark registration in Australia must take at least 7 months from the date your trademark is filed. The trademark office undertakes several checks before your trademark can be registered and during the process the application details are advertised in the Australian Trademark Journal to allow any third party the opportunity to oppose registration, if they believe there is a conflict.

Learn more about the process here.

Is my trademark protected as soon as it is filed?

Rights to a trademark are only provided once the entire registration process has been completed. The registration process takes around seven months, or more if there are complications with the application. The filing date of your trademark is vital, as once the process is completed this is the date that registered rights are secured from.

If another party uses your trademark (as defined by Australian case law and legislation) you should consider taking action right away. Advice from a trademark attorney should be sought and if appropriate written correspondence sent to the user to advise of your pending or registered rights.

To obtain advice on your specific matter, please get in touch with us at MacMillan Trademarks today.

How long does a trademark last for?

Once registered a trademark is initially registered for a period of 10 years from the filing date. Before the 10th anniversary of registration the correct renewal fee must be paid, and provided the correct fee is paid in time a trademark can last indefinitely.

At MacMillan Trademarks we can assist in managing your trademark including providing you with reminders to pay the renewals every 10 years.

What is the difference between a trademark & copyright?

A trademark is a badge of origin used to differentiate your goods or services from those of other traders. A trademark may be a single or multiple word(s), a device (logo), a slogan and even a sound or combination of colours.

A trademark owner can legally protect their trademark from use by others and litigation is intended to be efficient compared to other legal avenues.

Copyright is automatic and there is no registration process as there is with a trademark. Copyright will cover only certain types of “works” in material form, such as original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works. It cannot protect a brand name used to differentiate your goods or services.

While making copies of copyright material can infringe exclusive rights, a certain amount of copying may be allowed. In Copyright, litigation is often complicated and costly.