Australia Amends Trademark Laws to Streamline Processes
Australia’s Intellectual Property Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill was converted into law on April 15,
2012, streamlining the process of applying for trademarks, opposing a trademark application and
trademark infringement proceedings.
Applying for a Trademark:
The Registrar of Trade Marks has to accept the application for a trademark unless he has
sufficient ground for rejection known as Presumption of Registrability. The bill clarifies when the
‘Presumption of Registrability’ needs to be applied. The presumption will be applied when
assessing the extent to which a trademark is adapted to differentiate the respective goods or
services. This could reduce the ambiguity involved in judging the distinctiveness of a trademark
leading to a lesser number of rejections.
Determination of Trademark Matters:
To provide the trade mark owner cheaper and faster option, the jurisdiction of trademark
related matters has been conferred on the Federal Magistrates Court.
Opposing a Trademark:
The Trade Marks office will serve the Notice of Opposition on the applicant for the trademark
instead of the opponent.
The opponent is required to file a statement and the particulars of the grounds of opposition
within a month post filing of the Notice of Opposition, making the applicant aware of the
grounds of opposition beforehand and the basis for relying on those grounds.
The applicant is required to file a notice of intention to defend the position or else the
application will lapse. In case of an uncontested opposition, the opposition would save time and
Enforcement of Trademark Law in Australia:
Amendments to the seizure of counterfeit goods provides for the Australian Customs to send
multiple samples of the seized goods to the trade mark owner to verify whether the goods are
counterfeit goods or not.
Australian Customs can provide assistance to the trade mark owner with the information about
the designated owner, importer, and exporter of the goods in question, helping the trade mark
owner to enforce his rights.
In situations where the designated owners make themselves unavailable to avoid proceedings,
they cannot reclaim the seized goods.
Customs will collect more information to help trade mark owners to start the infringement
The court might award additional damages in trade mark infringement cases.
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