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Brands are an important part of everyday life. Consumers know exactly which smartphone is the most functional, which airline has the best service, and which accessories attract the attention of friends and colleagues. Brands help consumers realize their preferences in the marketplace. They allow consumers to make their choices when making a purchase decision.

Therefore, if you intend to start a business in Australia and do international trade, and you are a brand owner, it is very important to take care of its protection. In Australia, this is facilitated by clear rules and participation in many international treaties for the protection of intellectual property rights.

The fist-hand system

Australia has a so-called ‘first-hand’ system. This means that whoever is the first to prove the use of a TM in the Australian market will own the rights to it.

Please mind that this rule is valid even if the TM is not registered. However, we do recommend registering a TM in Australia because in this case it will be much easier for you to enforce it in case of any violations of your rights as the brand owner.  

Australian courts strongly support intellectual property rights. If you have found out that your TM rights are being infringed upon, you should consult a legal advisor licensed to practise in the country or an IP professional to discuss the next steps.

You will be granted protection for your TM for the period of 10 years and after that it can be prolonged. Please keep in mind that there will be additional charges for the procedure to renew a TM in Australia.

NOTE:

TMs registered abroad are not protected in Australia.

If you do not use TM in the Australian market for the period of three years, this will be the ground to stop your registration.

Prohibited

If you want to register a trademark in Australia, then it is useful to know that some marks are not allowed for registration in this jurisdiction. For example, you will never be able to register a TM which has an image of the Swiss Cross. Also, TMs that include the word "bank" will be difficult to register in Australia without the approval of the local regulator.

Learn more about TM registration in Australia from IQ Decision UK by signing up for an individual consultation with our seasoned professionals. We also offer assistance in TM rights protection in Australia in case of any violations.