Types of trade marks

When you apply for a trade mark, you need to tell us what type of trade mark you need.

Different types of trade marks

A 'type' of trade mark refers to the element of your brand you're looking to protect.

Protects numbers, letters, words or phrases, and words of phrases in a specific, elaborate font style.

Example: Ford's cursive font.

Protects non-English words written in Roman characters, or non-Roman characters. In your application, you'll need to translate non-English words and transliterate non-English characters into Roman characters. You apply for non-English trade marks the same way you apply for standard word or phrase trade marks.

Examples: 'Volkswagen', '貢茶' for Gong Cha tea.

Protects a logo or picture. If your logo includes words, it's a figurative trade mark. To maximise protection, you can register the words as a separate trade mark. This lets you retain protection for the words even if you change your logo. Keep in mind however, that if the words included in your figurative trade mark are commonly used terms or phrases, you may not be able to register them without the figurative elements.

Examples: Nike's swoosh logo, Barilla's figurative mark.

Protects a number of related trade marks. The main identifying feature of the trade marks must be the same. They can only differ in colour, or in statements or representations of the goods/services/number/price/quality/place. You'll include all trade marks in the series in the same trade mark application.

Examples: Greyscale and colour variations of the same logo, 'Optus Australia' and 'Optus International'.

Protects a colour or combination of colours. Colours can be difficult to trade mark. You'll need to provide significant evidence of use.


Protects three-dimensional shapes. The shape can't be commonly used or required by others (e.g. a regular shoe box or wine bottle). Shape trade marks may already exist in the market before you register them. This differs from a design right, where the shape must be new and distinctive.

Example: Coca-Cola's original glass bottle.

Protects a distinguishing auditory piece. It could be a jingle, sung or spoken words, or even a mechanical clicking noise. You must include an audio file, a clear description, and a graphical representation of the sound in your application. A graphical representation may be the musical notation or a verbal description of the sound (e.g. "clip clop moo").

Examples: O'Brien's vocal harmonisation of 'O, O, O, O'Brien', Boost Juice's sound of the word 'Boost' with the 'oo' elongated.

Protects a distinct smell associated with a product or service. It can't be just the scent in isolation. Your application must include a concise description of the scent and how you use it.

Examples: Eucalyptus Radiata scent applied to golf tees.

Protects a motion or movement. You'll need to include a video file in your application.

Examples: Toyota's jump, Snooze's blinking 'OO'.