New tech tool streamlines the trademark application process for small businesses


An online tool designed to make it easier for small businesses to apply for a trademark and secure a brand name has been launched by the Australian Government agency responsible for administering IP rights and legislation.

Trade Mark Assist, unveiled today by IP Australia, helps users to:

  • check whether their proposed trade mark complies with relevant requirements and is a strong candidate for registration; and
  • identify relevant goods or services classes in which they may wish to register their trade mark.

According to the agency, the tool leverages artificial intelligence technology developed in partnership with Queensland startup TrademarkVision to make the process of applying for a trade mark more efficient for businesses seeking to protect their brand.

“Trade Mark Assist helps customers to make better decisions early in the application process and reduce common mistakes,” IP Australia explained in a press release. “Identifying the right goods and/or services classes for a trade mark has long been an area of confusion for customers and one where they can make costly mistakes. Trade Mark Assist uses machine learning algorithms to guide customers in selecting the most appropriate goods and services classes for their trade mark.

Patricia Kelly, Director General at IP Australia commented on the launch of Trade mark Assist: “Assisting trade mark customers is a high priority for IP Australia. Trade mark rights represent our largest filing category with over 76,000 applications in 2017, dominated by Australian filers. Almost two thirds of Australian applicants are self-filers and around half of these only ever file once. Thus, we are constantly looking for ways to make the system simpler and more effective for applicants.

“Trade Mark Assist reduces the complexity of filing a trade mark and will benefit our trade mark customers, especially our self-filers. Trade Mark Assist utilises machine learning algorithms to provide tailored information to customers which we hope will increase customer satisfaction and improve the quality of trade mark applications.”