TM Headstart: Start Your Trademark Journey Strong

Applying for a Trade Mark

Author: Ian Aldridge, Progressive Legal

tm headstart

In today’s fast paced and competitive business landscape, staying ahead of the competition is crucial for success. As a business owner in Australia, you may have come across the term “TM Headstart” and wondered whether it can benefit your business.

On this page, we’ll explore the ins and outs of TM Headstart, its relevance to Australian businesses, and when it is useful in applying for a trade mark.

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What is TM Headstart?

TM Headstart, short for Trademark Headstart, is a streamlined process provided by IP Australia that helps businesses protect their trade marks.

A trade mark is a valuable asset that distinguishes your brand from competitors and enables you to build customer trust and loyalty. By registering your trade mark, you gain exclusive rights to use it and prevent others from infringing upon it.

Some time ago, IP Australia realised that trade mark applicants needed to find out faster what their prospects of success might be with their trade mark applications. Ordinarily it can take a few months before IP Australia will even examine a trade mark.

How does TM Headstart simplify the trademark application process?

The traditional trademark registration process in Australia can be time-consuming and complex. TM Headstart aims to simplify this process by offering a pre-application service, ensuring you’re on the right track before investing significant time and resources.

By submitting a TM Headstart application, you receive valuable feedback from IP Australia, helping you refine and strengthen your trademark application.

At the very least, you’ll be able to find out within 5 business days instead of 3 months, whether IP Australia has an issue with the proposed trademark or whether IP Australia considers someone else might have an issue with the trademark.

If you wish to make any amendments to your application you’ll have a small time frame (usually 5 days).  However, you may have to pay an additional fee to do this. It’s not possible to make substantive changes to your actual trade mark once it’s been filed at IP Australia so in this case, a new application will need to be filed.

You can change your name and address and limit the goods and/or services you originally filed your application with, by filing an amendment request at IP Australia.


Why Use TM Headstart?

We’ve provided 5 of the key reasons why TM Headstart is sometimes a no-brainer:

Early Feedback

One of the significant advantages of TM Headstart is the prompt feedback you receive from IP Australia in that you receive a report within 5 business days.

This feedback provides valuable insights into potential issues or objections that may arise during the official examination process.

By addressing these concerns early on, you save time, money, and avoid potential trademark disputes.


It’s completely confidential and no-one will see your proposed Trademark until you are ready to file.

You can also discuss these issues with the assessing officer after you receive the report to see what the options are to cure any defects or even discuss the likelihood of overcoming any objections.

Competitive Edge

In today’s dynamic business environment, speed is key. By utilising TM Headstart, you gain a competitive advantage by accelerating the trademark registration process.

As a modern fast-paced entrepreneur this process gives you more comfort in using your business name / logo / slogan in the marketplace while not having to wait months before the normal application is assessed.

This ensures that your brand is protected sooner, minimising the risk of others capitalising on your reputation or infringing upon your intellectual property.

We are finding that trademark applications that have been applied for with the headstart application, actually go through to registration faster than ones that have just gone through the standard application process because they’re probably put to the top of the pile when it comes time for the proper examination process to occur.

Tailored Support

TM Headstart offers personalised guidance throughout the trademark application process.

IP Australia’s experts can assist you in navigating complex legal requirements and provide advice on trademark classification, ensuring your application aligns with Australian standards.

This support empowers business owners, particularly those without legal expertise, to confidently protect their brands.

Sometimes, there is the opportunity to amend the mark to overcome any issues that a trademark examiner might have, before the trademark is officially filed. That is a really great mechanism for having the trademark proceed faster.


While the benefits of trademark protection are undeniable, it’s essential to consider the associated costs.

TM Headstart provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional trademark registration, allowing businesses to safeguard their brands without breaking the bank.

By leveraging this service, you can protect your intellectual property without compromising your financial resources.

For most business owners, they can’t wait 3 months to be sure if there’s any issues, at least they have a better idea about the prospects of success faster than the ordinary standard trademark application. For a little bit extra per class of business, it’s really worthwhile.

How do I apply for TM Headstart?

Applying is simple and done online. Here are our advisable steps:

  1. Research your trademark’s uniqueness and choose the appropriate class.
  2. Create an account on the IP Australia website.
  3. Complete the application form with your details, proposed trademark, and associated goods/services.
  4. Pay the application fee and submit.

IP Australia will provide feedback within five working days where you can then address any concerns raised and make necessary amendments.

The official examination process follows, where your trademark’s eligibility is determined. Successful registration then results in a certificate.

TM Headstart and its Relevance to Australian Businesses

TM Headstart is particularly relevant to Australian businesses due to the country’s vibrant and diverse entrepreneurial landscape.

With numerous startups and small businesses emerging across various industries, safeguarding intellectual property has become increasingly important.

Whether you operate in technology, retail, hospitality, or any other sector, trademark registration through TM Headstart enables you to establish a unique brand identity, build customer loyalty, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Key Takeaways

In today’s highly competitive business environment, protecting your brand’s intellectual property is paramount. TM Headstart offers Australian businesses a streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient path to trademark registration.

By leveraging this service, you can gain early feedback, speed up the registration process, and receive personalised support from IP Australia. Take the necessary steps to safeguard your brand and position your business for long-term success in Australia’s ever-evolving marketplace.

Remember, your trademark is not just a name or logo or tagline; it’s a powerful asset that differentiates your business and paves the way for growth and recognition.

Request our advice below or contact our experienced trade mark lawyers on 1800 820 083 if you require any assistance with filing your trademark application.

Need your trademark application filed by a specialist?

Contact us by giving us a call on 1800 820 083 or request our advice today.

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