Reading time: 3 minutes

A trade mark is traditionally perceived as a badge of origin, identifying the individual or business supplying the goods or services to which the mark is applied. However, a trade mark can also function as a mark of guarantee where goods or services bearing the mark can be expected to have the same consistency in standard or quality. A trade mark can also have advertising or promotional functions. Trade marks can be valuable not only to symbolise certain goods or services, they can also be used as a commodity. You can own, assign or license a trade mark to another individual or business just like other types of property.

Brand Management

A trade mark can be more than just a registrable intellectual property right. It can be used to create good will and reputation. A trade mark can help build your brand portfolio, create particular expectations and allow you to transfer the reputation attached to a particular trade mark across a product range. Your commercial interest is also a hallmark of this reputation, which is why it can be worthwhile for businesses to invest in protecting and registering their trade marks. A trade mark can be a name, image, logo, slogan, colour, smell, sound, shape (or a combination of these things) so long as it is capable of being distinctive in this manner.

How Can I Protect My Trade Mark?

A trade mark can be protected by registration with IP Australia if it meets statutory criteria and passes the examination process. As an owner of a registered trade mark, you have exclusive and legally enforceable rights to commercially use, licence or sell goods and services with that trade mark.

Generally, a trade mark can be registered if it is distinctive, does not conflict with a trade mark with earlier rights, and is not prohibited. When filing a trade mark application, you must also choose the classes of goods and/or services under which you would like to register your trade mark.

The process from trade mark application to registration is a seven-month process for a straight forward case. However, sometimes an application may be subject to an adverse report or opposition. An adverse report is the report issued by the trade mark examiner outlining reasons why he or she cannot accept a particular application. Opposition can occur during the advertisement period after examination, where a member of the public may lodge with IP Australia a formal objection to why a trade mark should not be registered.

If your trade mark application passes the examination process and opposition period, you can proceed with registration. Registration of a trade mark protects it for 10 years. At the end of this period, you can continuously renew your registration for an additional 10-year period.


Protecting and registering a trade mark is not always a simple task. Defending an adverse report or opposition can be a lengthy, complex and costly process, which is why it may be a good idea to engage an IP lawyer for assistance. An IP lawyer would be able to assist with assessing whether it is likely your trade mark may be subject to an adverse report, perform a conflict search, and provide other services that will ease your trade mark registration process. Our team of IP lawyers have extensive experience in this area and would be happy to assist. To speak with one of our IP lawyers today, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards