Avoid trade marks ownership formality issues

At a glance

Policy ID: 28

Status: Completed

Priority: No priority assigned

Trade marks

Issue summary

A trading or business name doesn't have legal personality. Neither does the name of a trust. However, unrepresented applicants who file trade mark applications often file their application in the name of a business or a trust.

Changes to IP Australia's eServices and PDF application forms will provide more guidance for applicants on what does and does not constitute a correct applicant name.


  • Implementation 4 September 2017
  • Completed 24 August 2018


In 2018, IP Australia rolled out help text in eServices to guide applicants. The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Act 2018 also made a related improvement to the Trade Marks Act 1995 to clarify the legal basis of the Registrar to amend an application if the applicant has filed in a name without legal personality. 

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