Our firm starts the process of trade mark registration for clients by charging a minimum application stage fee of $950.
The $950 application stage fee covers professional time by a specialist trade mark lawyer and IP Australia filing costs. It includes:
professional availability search and advice (these would otherwise be $550),
advice on the "legal design" of the mark,
advice on who should be the owner of the mark,
selection of an appropriate class in which to file the application, and
crafting a description of goods or services for that class.
For most of our clients, including many who file in more than one class, the total trade mark registration process from application through to examination and registration involves a fee of about $2,200, inclusive of all IP Australia official fees.
Some trade mark application matters involve fees greater than $2,200. This is usually because of issues raised by IP Australia at the examination stage of a trade mark application or a third party opposition to a trade mark appliction.
Comparing legal action based on use vs registration
The most readily understood benefit of a trade mark registration is protection of a mark in legal action.
Let's compare legal action based on use of an unregistered name versus use of a good registered trade mark.
Whether it is a business trading name, a product name or the name of certain services, the simplest and most immediate way to legally protect a name is to develop a reputation through use.
That use might include use of the name on a website, business card, brochure, advertisement or other public place.
When proprietary rights are claimed as arising from that use, passing off law and trade practices law claims can be made in legal action.
However, often the most legally effective and economical way to protect a name is with a trade mark registration. When acting for clients with a good registered trade mark it is much easier for lawyers to legally threaten, remove and stop infringers.
With a trade mark registration accompanied by evidence of use, the proprietary rights claimed:
comprise both Common Law and statutory rights,
can involve passing off law and trade practices law claims, and
can cite breach of provisions of the Trade Marks Act (Cth) 1995.
Why trade mark registration is better
When a client only has reputation established through use the problem is usually that it is very time consuming to collate all the evidence and set it out convincingly in a letter of demand. In contrast, citing a trade mark registration number is easy and tends to command attention and compliance.
This has been a short overview of trade mark registration costs and why a good trade mark registration makes legal action easier and less expensive. Many other articles on this site examine various other aspects of trade marks law.