What is a Trade Mark?

By Jennifer Song / Senior Associate

A trade mark is a “sign” that is used to distinguish your goods or services from the goods or services of others.

A “sign” can be a letter, word, logo, slogan, shape, scent, sound or a colour – or any combination of these.

Some famous trade marks include:

  • the Nike tick (logo trade mark);
  • the colour purple for Cadbury (colour trade mark);
  • the Coca-Cola bottle shape (shape trade mark);
  • the “Oh what a feeling, Toyota” music/jingle without words (sound mark); and
  • the concocted word “Google”.

A trade mark application can be lodged with the Australian Trade Marks Office. If the trade mark application proceeds through to registration, the owner will have an exclusive right to use the trade mark for a specific list of goods and/or services throughout Australia.