IP Australia has announced a new tool to guide small businesses and self-filers through the trade mark application process via Trade Mark Assist.
IP Australia, the Federal Government agency tasked with administering intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation relating to patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder's rights, developed the solution with Queensland start-up TrademarkVision, who has developed artificial intelligence and image recognition technology that it now sells internationally.
The tool helps users check whether their proposed trade mark is compliant with the requirements and is a strong candidate for registration.
Trade Mark Assist also guides applicants to identify relevant goods or services classes in which they may wish to register their trade mark through the use of machine learning algorithms.
The development of Trade Mark Assist started in June 2017, according to TrademarkVision, with the aim of providing educational information specific to the customer’s circumstances and suggest relevant goods and services.
According to IP Australia, identifying the right goods or services classes has been one of the biggest problems customers have faced causing confusion and leading to costly mistakes.
“Assisting trade mark customers is a high priority for IP Australia," IP Australia director general Patricia Kelly said. "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.”
This is not the first time IP Australia has worked with TrademarkVision. In February 2017, IP Australia launched Australian Trade Mark Search, a trade mark search system using machine learning image recognition service. Australian Trade Mark Search replaced ATMOSS, the system that had been in use since the mid-1990s.
“The more successful your business becomes the more valuable your brand is, so you want to invest in it," menswear startup Institchu managing director Robin McGowan said.
"One way is to protect it with a trade mark to have full control of its use. Think of a trade mark as a business asset that can be franchised, licensed or sold. For us, our brand is literally stitched into our product, so it’s important it’s protected."