Earlier this year, IP Australia conducted an extensive review of its fee structure in consultation with various stakeholders. The results of this review are now finalised and IP Australia has announced that new fees will apply from 10 October 2016.
The changes to trade mark fees may be significant to current trade mark owners, and companies that have been considering registering a trade mark.
Registering a trade mark grants the owner the exclusive right to use, authorise others to use, and prevent others from using, their trade mark in commerce over specific classes of goods and services.
The key changes to trade mark fees are:
- Increased application fees – the majority of trade mark application fees have increased by $130 per class, as a way of partially offsetting the removal of the $300 registration fee.
- Removal of the registration fee – previously, after an application was assessed a fee of $300 was payable to register the trade mark. There is no longer a fee for registration.
- Decreased Madrid import application – the Madrid import application facilitates international registration in countries which are signatories to the Madrid Protocol. The fee for a Madrid Application will decrease from $500 to $350 per class (note this is effective from 28 October 2016).
- Increased renewal fees – trade marks must be renewed every ten years, the renewal fees will increase from $300 to $400 per class.
- Removal of opposition fees – there will no longer be a fee payable to oppose a non-use removal application, or to file a written submission instead of attending an opposition hearing.
Overall the changes are positive for current and potential trade mark owners. While the application fee has increased, the removal of the registration fee will decrease the total fees paid to register a trade mark.
Additionally, the changes to the opposition fees may make it cheaper and easier to defend against certain applications to remove a trade mark from the register.
The full list of IP Australia fee changes can be found at https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/news-and-community/official-notice/fee-changes-ip-australia-fee-review-update.
How does this effect you?
Current trade mark owners should review their trade mark renewal dates. Any trade marks that are due to expire before 9 October 2017should be renewed before the fee changes take effect.
Potential trade mark registrants might consider holding off registering until the new fees take effect. However, if you trade overseas you should also consider utilising the now cheaper Madrid import applications to provide some overseas protection to your brand.
Please contact our office if you require assistance with protecting, enforcing or commercialising your intellectual property.