Question: Registration can take up to a year. Is it possible to get some kind of interim protection?Answer:
The timeframe to register a trade mark is a minimum 7.5 months from the time of filing to the granting of the registration if there are no objections raised during the examination period or the oppositions period.
During the registration process, you can put a ‘TM’ adjacent to the end of your trade mark, to indicate that the mark is being used as a trade mark, as a form of interim protection. However, this also indicates that the mark is an unregistered trade mark so leaves you open to third parties using or passing off your trade mark as their own. Despite not having the full set of rights conferred by registration, you may be able to bring a claim under the Australian Consumer Law for misleading or deceptive conduct against a third party who does this, with the help of a trade marks specialist.
See our article for more information on registered and unregistered trade marks.