Applicants should seek registration of their trade mark at the earliest opportunity, particularly as the timeframe for examination increases.
At the time of writing, IP Australia is taking an average of six months to examine trade mark applications which are filed in the normal course. This is significantly longer than the ‘three to four months’ indicated on IP Australia’s website, and we are advised that the extended processing times are due to a high volume of trade mark applications being filed.
Tardy examination may have flow-on effects for an applicant, such as delayed product launches or tight timeframes within which to file priority applications via the Madrid Protocol.
In the circumstances, applicants should consider additional filing strategies, such as prefiling searches or applications, or requesting expedited examination. These steps are particularly relevant in respect of new brands for which a launch date depends upon favourable trade mark examination, or where an applicant wishes to file corresponding overseas applications within the priority period.
Our Trade Marks team can assist you in considering the best filing strategy to ensure adequate protection of your brands. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any additional information –firstname.lastname@example.org.