Trade mark filing & examination

Registering your trade mark secures your rights as a trade mark owner and provides you with the exclusive right to use your trade mark on identified goods and services.

Trade marks are protected by registration under the Trade Marks Act 1995 in Australia and the Trade Marks Act 2002 in New Zealand. Once registered, the ® symbol may be used alongside a trade mark in that country.

Why register your trade mark?

Registering your trade mark generally provides you with the exclusive right to use that mark on identified goods and services. Registration gives you strong grounds to object to someone else using the mark on these goods and/or services without your authority. If someone else infringes your rights, the Trade Marks Act ‘the Act’ outlines measures to stop the infringing use and to seek compensation should you have incurred loss or damage.

Without registration, you must rely on common law rights to assert your claim to ownership of a trade mark. This process can be more time consuming and expensive, and there is less certainty of success. 

Filing a well prepared application

The first step to take when registering a trade mark is to file an application for the goods and/or services of interest. Basic information needed to complete atrade mark filing application includes:

  • the name and address of the applicant;
  • a clear representation of the trade mark; and
  • a description of the goods and/or services of interest.

Examination of your application

After filing, an examiner will review the application to ensure it meets criteria outlined in the Act. The examiner will look to see whether:

  • the goods and/or services claimed have been correctly classified;
  • the trade mark is sufficiently distinctive to be able to distinguish your goods and/or services from those of other traders; and
  • there are any identical or confusingly similar trade marks that have priority over yours. 

Maximising the potential for a positive outcome

Our trade mark specialists have extensive experience preparing and filing trade mark applications in Australia, New Zealand and abroad. Our team will assist you with researching, preparing and tailoring your application to best support your business objectives.

Our experts

  • Penny Catley
    Partner, Wellington

  • +64 4 910 6505
  • +64 21 660 645
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  • Chris Ross
    Senior Associate, Wellington

  • +64 4 494 9623
  • +64 21 737 758
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  • Lucy Hudson
    Senior Associate, Auckland

  • +64 9 359 7734
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Download our New Zealand trade mark application timeline information sheet:

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