Trademark a Logo in Australia: Protecting Your Brand’s Identity

Author: Ian Aldridge, Progressive Legal

trade mark logo

If you’re a business owner, the importance of trade marking a logo might be on your mind. Is it crucial for your business to trademark a logo?

This article will help you understand the significance of trade mark registration for your logo, how to register your logo as a trade mark in Australia, and other important considerations.

Need trade mark help?

Contact Progressive Legal below and get in touch with our team today for expert trade mark advice.

Why trademark a logo in Australia?

A trade marked logo is more than just a visual mark; it’s the heart of your brand identity, helping customers instantly recognise and remember your business. It’s a powerful tool for distinguishing your products or services in the marketplace.

That’s why making your logo a registered trade mark should be a top priority for your business.

However, before registering your logo, there are certain considerations business owners should make to ensure they produce the strongest and most impactful logo for their business.

What should a trademarked logo include?

Firstly, a trade mark logo should visually represent or demonstrate what your business offers. You use it as a “badge of origin” for your business.

Your trade marked logo should convey the essence of what you wish to describe your business as, it should not exclusively be a visual copy of what you provide. Keeping the colours simple and limited in variety also helps to simplify the logo, making it more easily memorable.

Furthermore, the logo is recommended to have some cross-cultural symbolism and meaning. Generally, trademarked logos in the professional sector contain the colour blue or black.

These colours indicate to clients that the business offers professional services and the insignia further highlights what product or service they may offer.

Additionally, many of these logos are combination logos, meaning they contain a trade mark business name with a design element whether it be the font – which is not trademarkable – or an insignia – which is. Discover the importance of trademarking your business name here.

If your logo does not clearly indicate what your business does, that is ok. The point is that it has the potential to become recognised with the greater market or industry which it falls under; This is only possible if the logo is memorable. Think of Nike’s Swoosh.

Moreover, if the logo can be developed with cross-cultural meaning in mind, more potential customers can understand your business and what it offers.

What is the process to trademark a logo in Australia?

Ready to trade mark your logo? Start by conducting a thorough search to ensure it doesn’t clash with existing trademarks. Use our legal expertise to perform a free trademark search for you.

If your logo is unique, consider using a trademark headstart application (TM Headstart) before launching your logo in the market. This step ensures your logo’s uniqueness and safeguards your marketing investments.

The registration process involves submitting a clear representation of your logo, listing the associated goods or services, and paying the necessary fees. IP Australia then examines your logo for distinctiveness and registrability.

Once approved, your trade marked logo secures legal protection, and you receive a certificate of registration.

What else should you consider when you trademark a logo?

Before you file an trade mark application for your logo, it is important to make sure that you own the copyright to your logo.

If you have designed the logo yourself, you will, of course, own the copyright. However, if you have had it designed by a graphic designer or obtained it from a site, make sure you have written confirmation that all copyright in your logo has been transferred to you before filing your application.

There are many considerations to take into account with registering your logo as a trade mark regarding the colour of the logo, what it includes, and how it represents your business.

Business owners should not only be concerned with what their logo contains, but how they create it, and the ownership of the creation.

These are typically not the concerns of business owners since modern business revolves around website domains, which are easily purchased. But domains are not a form of IP, and not a solid place to start when creating a business.

Start by prioritising trade marking, and always remember the crucial importance of owning and registering your business’s logo as a trade mark.

What is the difference between ‘TM’ and ‘R’ in Australia?

If you’re on this page, you’ve likely come across the ‘TM’ and ‘R’ symbols.

The ™ symbol stands for “trade mark,” and it is commonly used to indicate that a business or individual is claiming rights to a particular mark or logo. On the other hand, the ® symbol represents a registered trade mark.

Therefore, if you see a logo with the ‘R’ symbol in Australia, it means that the owner has taken the necessary steps to secure their trade mark rights, while the ‘TM’ symbol indicates an unregistered trade mark.

Find out more about how to use the ‘TM’ and ‘R’ symbol here.

Key takeaways

A trade marked logo is pivotal for any business. Big brands spend millions of dollars on developing logo designs, because they are aware of how impactful logos are on an audience.

In a digital world of commerce, Australian business owners will immediately jump onto website domains to secure their name and position amongst the growing sea of competitive businesses. However, this is like putting shoes on before socks.

Australian business owners are urged to register their logos as trade marks, and to own the copyright of those logos as well before they trade mark them.

Our experienced team of trade mark lawyers have proven to be an invaluable asset to businesses across Australia. If you need to trademark a logo or need any trade mark related advice, request our advice below or feel free to contact us on 1800 820 083.

Need trade mark help?

Contact us by giving us a call on 1800 820 083 or request our advice below and we’ll be in touch with you today.

Trademark a Logo FAQs

How much does it cost to trade mark a logo in Australia?

In Australia, the cost to register a trade mark starts from $250 per class. If you’re filing a Headstart application the cost starts from $330 per class. Find out more about trade mark costs and our tailored costs for filing a trade mark application here.

How long does a trade mark logo last in Australia?

A trade mark logo lasts technically forever so long as it is renewed every 10 years and is used continuously during that time. Once registered, the trade mark owner can continue to enjoy exclusive rights to use and protect their logo from others using it.

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