Trade Marks Act 1995

Understanding the Trade Marks Act 1995

Author: Ian Aldridge, Progressive Legal

trade marks act 1995

On this page we discuss the Trade Marks Act 1995, how you can register trade marks in accordance with the Trade Marks Act, using the Trade Mark Act to defend your rights, and the different trade mark services we provide.

What is the Trade Marks Act 1995?

The Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) (‘the Act’) is the key Commonwealth legislation aimed at governing the operation of trade marks across Australia.

We can provide an overview of the Act and some key sections you should be aware of if you have a trade mark in Australia, or just generally looking for information about the Act.

Trade Marks can be a very tricky area when it comes to choosing the proper classes, supplying evidence of use, obtaining acceptance of your trade mark, defending trade mark infringement or opposition proceedings.

Australian Trade Mark Law

The Trade Marks Act is a complex legal document that sets out the rules and regulations governing the registration and protection of trademarks in a particular jurisdiction. It is a specialised area of law that requires a thorough understanding of legal concepts, terminology, and procedures.

A lawyer who specialises in intellectual property law can help you understand the Trade Marks Act and how it applies to your specific situation. They can provide guidance on the requirements for registering a trademark, advise you on the potential risks and benefits of pursuing registration, and help you navigate the application process.

A lawyer can also assist you in enforcing your trademark rights if they are infringed upon by others. This may involve filing a lawsuit, negotiating a settlement, or engaging in alternative dispute resolution methods.

Trade Marks Act Videos

Why is it so important to have registered trade marks for your business?

Are you sure your trade mark is registered in the correct legal entity? 

Applying for a trade mark on your own?

Trade Marks Act 1995 FAQs

What is the purpose of the Trade Marks Act 1995?

As noted in the Act, its purpose, broadly speaking, is to provide the legislative framework for the ‘registration of trade marks, collective trade marks, certification trade marks and defensive trademarks.. and sets out [the] rights deriving from registration’. The Act is supplemented by the Trade Mark Regulations 1995 (Cth).

How is the Trade Marks Act arranged?

The Act is fairly extensive and is separated into 22 major parts.

The following table is a quick overview of each part:



Part Issue dealt with 
1 Preliminary Matters
2 Interpretation
3 Trade Marks and trade mark rights
4 Application for registration
5 Opposition for registration
6 Amendment of application for registration of a trade mark and other documents
7 Registration of trade marks
8 Amendment of application for registration of a trademark and other documents
9 Removal of a trade mark from Register for non-use
10 Assignment and transmission of trade marks
11 Voluntary recording of claims in interests in and rights in respect of trade marks
12 Infringement of Trade Marks
13 Importation of goods infringing Australian Trade Marks
14 Offences
15 Collective trade marks
16 Certification trade marks
17 Defensive trade marks
18 Jurisdiction and powers of courts
19 Administration
20 The register and official documents
21 Miscellaneous
22 Repeal and Transitional

Which sections of the Trade Marks Act should I be aware of most?

This will depend on a myriad of factors such as whether you already have a registered trade mark, whether you are seeking assignment of a trade mark, whether infringement has potentially occurred, the complexity of your business and so on.

However, if you don’t know much about trade marks yet; it is always best to start with Part 3 of the Act which describes (among other things) what a trade mark is/ isn’t, as well as the rights conferred on a registered trade mark owner.

Some key sections in Part 3 include:

  • Section 17 which defines trade mark  as a: ‘a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person’;
  • Section 21: which declares a registered trade mark to be a form of personal property, with equities enforceable in the same manner as other equities in relation to personal property;
  • Section 22: which provides for the power of registered owners;
  • Section 23: which provides for a limitation on rights if substantially identical or deceptively similar trademarks have been registered; and
  • Section 26: which outlines the powers of a registered user of a trade mark.

Once you understand what a trade mark is, you may feel more compelled to register it as in accordance with Part 7.

Further, if you have potentially had your trade mark infringed, or wish to be cautious as to potentially

infringing the rights of others, you may wish to be conscious of Part 12. In particular, section 120 which outlines when a registered trade mark is infringed and section 122 which provides when it is not infringed. By being aware of these sections you may feel more confident in enforcing your rights.

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For legal advice relating to the Trade Marks Act, please get in touch with us today via phone or the contact form on this page.

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