Common words, phrases and images
We can't accept applications for everyday words, phrases or images that directly describe a good or service. These should remain available for all businesses to use.
- 'Global' for freight shipping services
- 'Juicy oranges' for orange juice
- 'Ultra white' for paper
- 'Eco-friendly' for recycling services
- '4x4' for vehicles
- Photograph of a cat for pet food
- Sketch of an iron for irons.
The name of a location is difficult to register. It's likely others will need to use it to describe the origin of their own goods or services.
- 'Adelaide' for car wash services
- 'Bass Strait' for seafood.
You may be able to register a geographical name if you can prove:
- You've used it for your goods or services extensively for a long period, and
- Consumers associate the name with your goods or services, not just with the location.
The more common a surname (e.g. 'Smith' or 'Brown'), the more difficult it will be to register. This is because other traders will have a legitimate desire to use it for their own brand.
Hashtags are a popular social media feature used to categorise and search messages. As hashtags are commonly used, they aren't typically trade mark material. Usually, it's what follows the # symbol that distinguishes your brand (e.g. '#ARNOTTS').
As a member state to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Australia won't register trade marks that contain or resemble:
- Armorial bearings
- Official signs
- Abbreviations and names of international intergovernmental organisations.
Restricted financial terms
There are certain terms only Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions listed by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) can use. The terms include the following (and any like terms in any language):
- Authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI)
- Building society
- Credit society
- Credit union
- Friendly society.
These restrictions only apply to trade marks for insurance, financial, monetary and real estate services (Class 36).