From Examination to Registration: The IP Australia Trademark Process

Every trademark application filed at IP Australia will undergo examination by the agency’s authorized personnel. The examination process is a must to prevent two or more trademarks being significantly similar as to be confused with each other.


What then can you do to facilitate the examination process? You should make a thorough search of all the databases published by IP Australia. You may be able to make changes to your proposed trademark and, thus, make it unique before filing your application.


The Initial Examination Phase

Upon submission of your trademark application, you have to be patient in waiting for its initial examination. There’s a stockpile of applications filed at IP Australia, after all, and it can be voluminous.


The time period depends on the nature of your application and the stockpile. But it’s at least seven months of waiting from application to registration. This is true whether you filed via TM Headstart or general examination.


Your application will be accepted and advertised once it’s ready for acceptance. This step is necessary since there may be oppositions from other parties about your proposed trademark.


By the way, the examination process involves the examiners checking the trademark application for correct and full information. The proposed trademark will also be examined if it’s in compliance with legislative requirements.


Be careful about errors on your application. Some errors can be corrected without a fuss while others cannot. Even errors that can be corrected will cost money through amendment fees and refunds aren’t provided by IP Australia.


You will receive an examination report in case your trademark application didn’t meet legal requirements. You should read the report in its entirety and decide on your next course of action. You will be provided with options for the resolution of the issues stated on the report.


Do you have confident information or commercially sensitive information that you don’t want known to others? You can protect it from the prying eyes of your competitors by keeping it separate from the rest of your trademark application. You should mark it as “confidential” as well and inform the examiner about it.


You may also request for an expedited communication, such as when the proposed trademark is tied to a product launch. But just because you request for it doesn’t mean that it will shorten the time between examination and registration. There’s still a 7-month minimum period between application and registration.


The Registration Phase

Let’s assume that your proposed trademark meets the legislative requirements. Your application will be published in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks (AOJTM) for two months. Within this period, third parties have the opportunity to make their opposition known.


If there’s no opposition, your trademark will be considered as registered. You will receive a written notification about it. Your trademark will be upgraded as “registered” on the AOJTM and the Australian Trade Mark Search database.


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