A trade mark is a way of identifying a unique product or service. It can protect a:

  • word
  • phrase
  • logo
  • letter
  • number
  • symbol
  • sound
  • shape
  • image
  • scent.

A trade mark is not the same thing as a company name, business name or domain name. However, you can have exclusive rights to your business name by protecting it with a trade mark.

Benefits of a trade mark


A registered trade mark gives you exclusive rights to use, license and sell the mark. This means no one else in Australia can commercially use your trade mark for the same goods or services you have it registered for.

It’s also a valuable marketing tool because the value of your trade mark increases with the success of your business.

Check if your trade mark is available

Before applying for a trade mark, you should do a search to make sure the trade mark you want isn’t already registered.

IP Australia’s free trade mark checker tool gives you an indication of existing trade marks that might be similar to your proposed brand or name. From there you can apply to register your trade mark.

How long does protection last?


A trade mark is protected in all Australian states and territories for an initial period of 10 years. It can then be renewed every ten years, for a fee. You can renew your trade mark registration 12 months before the renewal date or up to 6 months after.

If you renew after the due date you may have to pay a late fee.

Find out the difference between a trade mark and a business name.

Learn more about trade marks.