What are Trade Marks?


In Australia, a trade mark is a sign used to distinguish particular goods or services of one trader from those provided by other traders. The most common types of signs used as trade marks are words and logos. A word or combination of words can be used as a trade mark in plain typescript or in a particular stylised form. The word or words can appear alone or they can appear together with a device or image in a logo form. An image or device by itself can be a trade mark.

A trade mark can be a letter or combination of letters. It can be a signature, or a numeral, or a combination of one or more numerals with one or more words, devices or images. It can be a brand, heading, label or ticket.


A trade mark can be an aspect of packaging, or a shape or a colour, or a sound or a scent. Almost anything that can be used to distinguish the goods or services of one trader from those of others can be a trade mark, provided that it can be represented graphically.

Trade marks get registered only for particular goods or services. Thus different people can own the same trade mark in relation to different goods.

A trade mark registration gives the owner the right to prevent others from using a substantially identical or deceptively similar trade mark in relation to goods or services which are the same as or closely related to the goods or services covered by the registration.