FOR IP PROFESSIONALS

Series of trade marks

A series of trade marks is made of two or more similar trade marks on the same application or registration. Very few similar trade marks will qualify as a series as there are narrow criteria that must be met.

A valid series application

Trade marks in a series must closely resemble each other and must differ only in one or more of the following ways:

  • (A) statements or representations as to the goods or services being claimed
  • (B) statements or representations as to the number, price, quality or names of places
  • (C) the colour of any part of the trade mark

Examples

An example of a valid series application:

IDAK CLOTHING

IDAK FOOTWEAR

IDAK HEADGEAR

Class 25 claim for Clothing, footwear, headgear

In this example, the trade marks resemble each other because the essential feature IDAK is common to each and the additional words do not cause significant differences.

The ways in which they differ (i.e. the words CLOTHING, FOOTWEAR, HEADGEAR) are statements as to the goods as allowed under category (A) above.

It is possible to submit an application for trade marks that resemble each other but still differ in ways not specified in the Act, therefore making the series invalid.

Here is an example of an invalid series:

IDAK

idak

In this example, the words resemble each other, but the way in which they differ - the letter font - is not a difference that is mentioned under the three categories above.

With these substantial restrictions on what sort of trade marks can form a valid series and additional costs involved in filing a series application, you should carefully consider whether your trade marks meet the requirements before filing a series application. If the series you file is not valid, the series fee is not refundable.

The application fee for a series application is different to a standard application.

Last Updated: 23/11/2013

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