Changes to trade mark application fees

Changes to trade mark application fees

IP Australia has announced that it will be implementing new free structures across their intellectual property services, including trade mark applications, scheduled to apply from 12am AEDT, 28 October 2016.  We highly encourage you to consider whether you want to register your trade marks prior to this date, because these changes could make hundreds of dollars of difference for your applications.

So will the new fees be cheaper?
There are both benefits and costs of the new fee structure. Whilst the overall cost of a new trade mark application will be cheaper, the initial cost may in fact be higher depending on how likely your trade mark is to pass the examination stage.

IP Australia is removing their registration fees – which is a saving of $300 in comparison to the old fee structure. However, trade mark application fees have increased – for example, a trade mark application without a class picklist will change from $200 to $330.

This means that if your trade mark application is rejected at the examination stage, for example, if your trade mark is found to be too descriptive of a product, your losses will be higher than if your trade mark were rejected under the old fee structure. Instead of losing $200, you will have lost $330 – which is $130 more than under the old structure.

Example

If I file a trade mark application without a picklist, for a single class prior to 28 October 2016, my costs will be as follows:
$200 application fee + $300 registration fee = $500.
However, if I file the same application post-28 October 2016, my costs will be as follows:
$330 application fee + $0 registration fee = $330.

What should my next steps be?

If you are thinking of registering a trade mark for a contentious or common word, it may be a good idea to start your trade mark application now, before the new fee structure takes place. This means that your costs will be lower if your trade mark is rejected.

However, if you are confident that your trade mark will pass the examination stage, it wouldn’t hurt to wait until the new fee structure comes into action as you will make an overall saving on your registration, that is of course, if your application is not time sensitive and if you don’t think anyone will lodge the same or a similar trade mark before you do!

Remember that time is running out for you to exercise your options as the new fee structure is set to apply to all new trade mark applications after 28 October 2016 – so contact me as soon as possible so that we can discuss your next steps.

I’ve helped many businesses with their trade mark and intellectual property registrations. If you need advice regarding your trade marks and branding, contact me on 1300 033 934 or email me at for a no-obligation chat.