How do I apply for a trademark, copyright or patent?

Applying for a trademark, copyright or patent are three very different classifications and each requires a separate approach.


When applying for a trademark, you will need to lodge an application with IP Australia. There are two different methods of applying – the Standard Trade Mark Application, and the TM Headstart.


You can apply for both methods online at IP Australia. The differences between the two are mostly technical, and relate to the type of business you’ll be operating.


Filing for a patent is slightly more complicated, and many applications are actually abandoned. You should seek out the help of a patent attorney, as many businesses which fail to use legal assistance often abandon their applications.


There are three separate patent applications – provisional applications, complete applications and international applications. These can be lodged through IP Australia as well, and you will need to discuss with your patent attorney about which category you should lodge.


Copyright protection is a completely unregulated area. Certain expressions, such as text, photographs, music, computer programs and films, are automatically protected by the Copyright Act.

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