Why search for existing trade marks?

To make sure that your trade mark is available for registration, it's important to search through existing trade marks before you apply.

Why search before applying?

You need to be sure your brand, product or service hasn't already been trade marked by someone else.

It's a good idea to check that it's available before you apply, to:

We'll perform our own trade mark searches as part of examining your application. If we find any issues, including if a similar trade mark is on the Register in Australia, we'll let you know in an examination report.

What can I find out from a trade mark search?

A thorough search will help you discover:

You'll need to make sure there are no existing trade marks similar to yours. If you find a similar trade mark, check its goods and services. If it's in different goods and services to what you want to use, you may still be able to register your trade mark.

Do a thorough search to cover all possibilities and look beyond exact matches for your idea. This can be a very involved process so if you need help, you may wish to consider getting advice from an IP professional.

How to search existing trade marks

If your trade mark is similar or identical to someone else's in your industry, you risk:

A thorough trade mark search can help you avoid these issues.

There's no such thing as 'international IP protection'. This means that trade marks need to be protected in each country that they're intended to be used. If you have plans to use your trade mark outside of Australia, you'll also need to search for your proposed trade mark in your target countries.

If you find something similar to your brand in your target market, it can be tricky to secure IP protection.

Search existing IP overseas

Get early feedback on your application

With TM Headstart, our pre-application assessment service, you'll receive feedback from our examiners and a chance to fix errors before you officially apply.

More about TM Headstart