Trademark registration in Australia - The ultimate guide

Find out everything about the application process, costs and time required to register your trademark in Australia.

In which country do you want to register your trademark?


Why register a trademark in Australia?

The attractive economic position of Australia makes it an important reason to consider registering a trademark there. Australia has a large consumer market, and Australian households enjoy high disposable incomes. Per capita, Australia is one of the richest economies in the world that embraces new technology – making it an ideal test market for new business ideas and innovations.

Which body registers trademarks in Australia?

The Australian Government agency that administers intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation for patents, trademarks, and design rights is the IP Australia.

How is trademark priority in Australia determined?

Australia is a so-called ‘First-to-Use’ country, meaning it recognises an unregistered brand being used as a trademark in commerce. As a ‘First-to-Use’ jurisdiction, the IP Australia gives priority to the party that first started to use a trademark in connection with their goods or services and established a reputation with it.

How long does it take to register a trademark in Australia?

Based on our data, registering a trademark in Australia takes on average 7 months after filing the application, provided it has not been objected to or opposed by other trademark owners.

What is the cost of trademark registration in Australia?

A standard trademark application in Australia costs a minimum of $250. The fees are generally lower if applicants use the picklist of 60,000+ goods and services provided by IP Australia.

Trademark application with picklist: $250 Trademark applications without picklist: $400

Service trademark application with picklist: $400 Service trademark application without picklist: $550

For any additional class: $450 For any additional class (service trademark): $600

Final costs will depend on how many classes of goods and services are listed in your application. IP Australia offers a free trademark price calculator.

Who can register a trademark in Australia?

Any individual, partnership, trade union, association, joint venture, or corporation can file a trademark application with IP Australia directly. For foreign applicants residing outside Australia, it is recommended to perform trademark application process in Australia through a registered trademark attorney. Having a local representative can significantly reduce the time and cost of the application procedure.

You can also apply for an Australian trademark through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). When filing an international trade mark application through the WIPO, you can either add Australia as a designated country at the time of filing or at a later date after registration.

What does the trademark registration process in Australia look like?

1. Create a distinctive sign

For a trademark to be eligible for registration, it has to meet specific criteria, one of them being distinctiveness. As the purpose of a trademark is to distinguish a recognisable source of goods or services to the customer, only a sign with at least a minimum level of a distinctive character can achieve this purpose without consumer confusion. The more descriptive or customary a name, logo, or any other brand elements are, the less likely they will be registered by IP Australia. You can learn more about registration requirements and the distinctiveness of trademarks by visiting our Trademark Academy.

2. Conduct prior search

Another important step in applying for a trademark is ensuring that it is not confusingly similar to already registered marks. Many starting businesses that tried to register their trademarks without prior research have either suffered rejection directly from the IP Australia or received opposition from their competitors who registered their marks prior to them. Trademark law strongly prioritises companies that file trademark applications first, even if the registration process was not yet completed. As a result, the IP Australia, in general, recommends searching their trademark database before submitting an application.

3. Submit an application

In your application, you must provide details of your trademark and the list of goods or services you want to use under your trademark to the IP Australia. Therefore, all the Nice classes and their respective individual terms you wish to register must be included. 

After filing your application with the IP Australia, it will go through several stages:

  1. Examination (3-4 months)

  2. Publication for oppositions (2 months)

  3. Registration (up to a month)


IP Australia will examine your application to check it meets the legislative requirements (e. g. distinctiveness of the mark, correct and clear classification of goods or services) . If it does, it will progress to the next step. If your application doesn't meet the requirements, the IP Australia will send you a report explaining the issues. In some cases, you may be able to fix your application.

Publication for oppositions

If your application successfully passes the examination, IP Australia will proceed to publish your trademark in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks (AOJTM) and the Australian Trade Mark Search. Then, third parties  have 2 months to  oppose your trademark application.


If your trademark isn't opposed, or you overcome oppositions, the IP Australia will register it and update its status in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks and the Australian Trade Mark Search

What does the trademark opposition process look like in Australia?

During the process of applying for your trade mark, others are allowed to oppose your application. If this happens, the IP Australia will inform you and give you a chance to respond.

If you decide to defend against the opposition:

  1. You'll need to submit a Notice of Intention to Defend within one month of receiving the Notice of Opposition.

  2. After filing your notice, you need to assemble your evidence, documentation and arguments, challenging the claims of the counterparty.

  3. The IP Australia will share the evidence with the other party. You'll both be provided with the opportunity to either drop the opposition, or progress it to a hearing.

  4. You'll be asked to make a submission to argue your case during either a written or oral hearing.

  5. The hearing officer will evaluate all evidence and submissions before making a decision.

If the opposition is successful, your trademark application will be rejected. If the opposition isn't successful, your trademark will proceed to registration.

Time: An opposition proceeding can take as long as two to four years or even longer.

Cost: An opposition hearing costs $400 to $800. You may be liable for additional legal fees if you have an attorney acting on your behalf. If your opposition is unsuccessful, you may also be liable for a part of the other party's costs, depending on the circumstances of the case, which can drive the final cost of the opposition procedure to tens of thousands of dollars.

How long does a trademark last in Australia? How can I renew my Australian trademark?

A trademark registration provides ten years' protection from the filing date. Once registered, it's your responsibility to manage and maintain your trademark. By using the online service on the IP Australia website, the fee to renew a single trademark class and an additional class are both $400. However, if you apply to renew your trademark after it expires, the fee is $100 for every month or a partial month after the expiration date.

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