Are you planning to use a name for your business, product, or service in Australia? Before you start using the name, you need to make sure it is not already trademarked by someone else or otherwise you may be inadvertently committing trademark infringement.

A trademark is a legal protection that gives the owner exclusive rights to use a name, logo, or slogan in a particular category of goods or services. If you use a trademarked name without permission, you could face legal consequences, including a lawsuit, a court order to stop using the name, and financial damages.

In this article, we will guide you on how to check if a name is trademarked in Australia, step-by-step.

Step 1: Determine the Type of Name

Before you search for a name, you need to determine the type of name you want to use.

There are three types of names:

  1. Business Name – A business name is a name that identifies your business. It is used for marketing, advertising, and branding purposes.
  2. Company Name – A company name is a legal name that identifies a registered company. It is used for legal and administrative purposes.
  3. Trade Mark – A trademark is a name, logo, or slogan that identifies your goods or services. It is used for legal protection and branding purposes. These can also include sub-brands under the company or business name.

Step 2: Conduct a Search on the Australian Trade Mark Search Website

Once you have determined the type of name, you need to conduct a search on the Australian Trade Mark Search website. This website allows you to search the Australian Trade Mark database for registered trademarks, pending trademarks, and expired trademarks.

Here’s how to conduct a trademark search on the Australian Trade Mark Search website:

  • Go to the Australian Trade Mark Search website (
  • Enter the name you want to check in the search bar.
  • Select the “Word” option from the “Type” dropdown menu.
  • Select the “Australia” option from the “Territory” dropdown menu.
  • Click on the “Search” button.

Step 3: Review the Search Results

After you conduct the search, you will see a list of search results. Each result will include the trademark owner, the trademark class, the application or registration status, and the filing date.

Here’s what each column means:

  • Owner: The name of the trademark owner.

Class: The class of goods or services the trademark is registered for. There are 45 classes in total, each representing a different category of goods or services.

  • Status: The status of the trademark application or registration. There are four types of statuses: Registered, Pending, Expired, and Withdrawn.
  • Filing Date: The date the trademark application was filed.

You need to review the search results carefully to determine if the name you want to use is available or not. If you find a trademark that matches the name you want to use, you need to check the class of goods or services to see if it is similar to the goods or services you plan to offer. If the class is similar or identical, you may need to choose a different name or seek permission from the trademark owner to use the name.

Step 4: Register Your Trademark

If you have determined that the name you want to use is available, you should strongly consider registering your trademark as soon as possible. Trademark registration gives you exclusive rights to use the name, logo, or slogan in the class of goods or services you have registered for. It also provides legal protection against infringement by others.

To register your trademark, you need to file a trademark application with IP Australia, the government agency responsible for intellectual property rights in Australia. The application process involves providing information about your business, the name or logo you want to register, the class of goods or services, and paying a registration fee.

Once your trademark application is approved, you will receive a certificate of registration, which gives you the legal right to use the trademark in Australia. Trademark registration is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended to protect your business from potential legal issues.

Time is of the essence with registering trademarks!

If you file your trademarks as soon as possible, you have the best chance of protecting them from being registered by competitors.

If you’re first to register them, and have used in the market before others, legally you should have the ultimate rights.

Find out more about trademark registration in Australia here, including some useful video guides.


Checking if a name is trademarked in Australia is an important step in starting a business, product, or service. It helps you avoid legal issues, protects your business from infringement, and provides legal protection for your intellectual property rights.

Remember to choose a unique name that represents your brand, and conduct a comprehensive search before you start using the name.

If in doubt, seek out legal advice to guide you on the legal requirements for trademark registration, or to file the trademark application on your behalf. A trademark lawyer can also help you negotiate with the trademark owner if you need to seek permission to use a name that is already trademarked.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can conduct a trademark search on the Australian Trade Mark Search website, review the search results, and register your trademark to protect your business.