How to register a trademark

A trademark offers you exclusive claim over a particular product or service – this includes numbers, words, symbols, designs, phrases or a combination of these. Basically if there is something distinctive about your product or service that differentiates it from others – that can be trademarked. Follow the process below to get your trademark in place!

Step 1: Research

Check out the IP Australia website for eligibility criteria and information you will need to apply.

Step 2: Application Time

Submit a Standard Application for assessment against relevant trademarking/IP legislation. Consider getting advice from a Trademark Attorney if your potential trademark is could infringe on an existing registered trademark or you are worried about the application being opposed.

Step 3: Waiting Game

Applications take around five months from the submission date to be processed. Once you are successful, you will have that trademark for a 10-year period, after which you will need to re-register (if the trademark is still relevant to you).

Step 4: Make Your Mark

Make sure you use the ® symbol after your trademarked item to indicate that it has been registered. If your application is still in assessment, you can use ‘TM application pending’ if necessary.


Trademark Case Study – Christian Louboutin v Yves Saint Laurent USA

Louboutin shoes are iconic, partially due to the red sole – which Louboutin trademarked in 1997. As part of their 2011 spring/summer collection, Yves St Laurent brought out a shoe that was all red – including the sole. Louboutin lodged a case against Yves St Laurence for trademark infringement but in December 2012 it was dismissed, because of the wording of Louboutin’s trademark. The first Parisian Louboutin show salon was set up in 1991, and the red sole has been a distinctive factor of every shoe that he has ever made. Protecting those assets and elements that help to define our work is hugely important, and getting it right is just as crucial.


For more information about trademarks and other types of intellectual property, including other trademark case studies, head over to the IP Australia site at