Imagine going through the lengthy trademark application process only to find your application is rejected and the efforts and money you invested have gone to waste.

The application process for trademarks in Australia takes a minimum of around 8 months. Furthermore, no refund is provided if IP Australia ultimately rejects your application.

So, before deciding to file a trademark application, make sure you have conducted the necessary research, understand the criteria for registration and the trademark will likely be accepted by IP Australia.

The following guide by Pinnacle TMS will provide you with some helpful tips to consider before attempting to apply for a trademark in Australia:

  1. Conduct a thorough search of Trademarks Office database Register.

This will help you discover whether there are any already existing registered trade marks or pending applicationsand confirm that you are not infringing any existing trademarks and that any application you file is not likely to be rejected.

  1. Avoid using common signs.

Commonly used phrases and descriptive words are often rejected. These include things such as:

  • Surnames: a surname is generally regarded as common if it has been used over 750 times in Australia.
  • Geographical names: for example, a country such as Australia or a suburb such as Wynyard.
  • Commonly used phrases: for example, “go green” for environmental services.
  • Words that describe goods or services: for example, “cool” for air conditioning
  1. Avoid prohibited signs.

Pinnacle TMS recommends that companies and businesses avoid attempting to trademark prohibited signs such as flags (e.g. the Australian flag) and hallmarks.

There are other restrictions that may prevent your application from being accepted by IP Australia that you need to be wary of.

Don’t waste your time and money on a trademark that will be rejected. At Pinnacle TMS, we will provide you with professional advice, options and strategies to get you the best results for your business.

This is particularly important if you intend growing your business and filing applications for your trade mark in other countries.

To learn more about our services or make an enquiry, call us on +61 2 9520 4366 or email at