Choosing a suitable Trade Mark to register – Some signs not allowed

As previously discussed there are a number of benefits to registering a trade mark. That being said, not all marks can be registered. The Trade Marks Act 1995 (Commonwealth) says that there are a number of situations where an application for trade mark registration must be rejected.

You have to be careful when making your application, and make sure that you choose a suitable trade mark to register.

In these series of posts we will briefly consider a few situations where an application for a trade mark would likely be rejected.

The Trade Marks Act 1995 (Commonwealth) says that an application for trade mark registration must be rejected if the trade mark contains certain signs, or certain words. These signs or words usually relate to government organisations, flags, seals, emblems, or symbols related to public organisations in Australia.This list also extends to a number of words that can be used in a misleading way, such as “trade mark”, “patent”, “registered”, or “copyright”.

In addition to this Australia is a signatory to a number of international agreements and conventions that set out a list of signs or words that can’t be used. These signs or words typically belong to international governments, organisations, or public entities, such as the the Olympics and the Red Cross.

The reason for doing this is simple – the public shouldn’t be misled by a trade mark that looks similar to a government or international organisation.

Keep this rule in mind when choosing a suitable Trade Mark to register. Choose carefully, and stay tuned!