Once you have registered your trade mark you will be able to look it up in Australian trade mark search. It is your responsibility to make sure your trade mark is kept current by paying the appropriate renewal fees and making changes to your trade mark if and when it is required.
Using and maintaining your trademark
There are a number of things to consider when it comes to using and maintaining your trade mark:
- Displaying the ® (R) symbol next to your trade mark whenever it is used (it is illegal to do this if you have not registered your trade mark).
- Keeping your address details up to date so we can notify you when it is time to renew your trade mark (usually every 10 years).
- Commercialising your trade mark – there are four main ways you can commercialise your intellectual property (IP): assignment, licensing, franchising and spin offs.
- Monitoring the market to keep on top of new and existing trade marks being used in your industry.
- Being opposition savvy - you are entitled to oppose the acceptance of another trade mark you think infringes upon yours.
- You need to ensure your trade mark continues to be regarded as a trade mark. If your trade mark becomes known as the generic name for your goods or services a third party could have it cancelled through the courts.
- You need to use your trade mark or risk losing it. If a registered trade mark is unused for three years it can be removed from the register. This will mean you could lose your right to that trade mark.
- Beware of unofficial registers or services. For more information see unsolicited IP invoices.
ALSO READ: What is a trade mark?
Renewing your trademark
A trade mark registration may be renewed every ten years. Fees are applicable (see below).
There is no limit to the number of times a trade mark registration may be renewed. Any person may pay for the renewal.
Our online services is the quickest and easiest way to renew your trade mark. You can pay your renewal using your VISA or MasterCard. The renewal is effective immediately.
How do I change my details?
If any of your details such as your name or address change you will need to advise us in writing before completing your renewal. Change of name or address requests can be made via online services.
Until we receive a written request for change of address and the request has been processed, all correspondence will be sent to the existing address.
How do I reduce classes before renewing?
Over the years, as you use your trade mark, you may want to reduce the number of classes you originally registered, as you refine your business or product line.
If you intend to delete classes of goods and/or services from your registration you must request deletion at least three weeks before the due date for renewal.
Otherwise you may not be able to renew your trade mark via online services and may need to pay additional fees.
When can renewal fees be paid?
You can pay your renewal fees from 12 months before the renewal due date or up to six months after the date expires. Additional fees apply if the registration is renewed after the expiry date.
What if I don't pay my renewal fee on time?
After your trade mark expires, a six-month grace period for payment will apply.
During this grace period, you may still renew the registration of your trade mark for a further 10 years by paying the renewal fee plus any applicable extension fees.
Once the expiry date has passed, your trade mark will no longer have the benefit of any rights arising from registration. At the end of the six-month grace period, if your renewal fee has not been paid, your trade mark will be removed from the register and can’t be restored.
How will I know if my trade mark has been renewed?
When your request for renewal is received and actioned, the Registrar will give notice that the trade mark registration is renewed and will advise of the renewal period.
You can also check the status of your registration online through Australian Trade Mark Search.
Beware of unsolicited invoices
If you own a registered intellectual property (IP) right you may find yourself the target of letters about registration or renewal. These are letters which are not from us and are often about overseas registration.
Letters from unfamiliar organisations should be treated with caution, especially letters requesting payment for unsolicited services. Whatever services might be offered, they bear no connection to us or any of our official publications. You are not obliged to pay their fees. See some examples of unsolicited invoices that we know about.
Fees for renewing a trade mark
Fees for renewing a trade mark are available under our trade mark costs.
This content was first published on www.ipaustralia.gov.au.
Licensed from the Commonwealth of Australia under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.