On 1 May at the IP Summit in Sydney, IP Australia launched a
new, technology-enhanced tool to guide small businesses and self-filers (i.e.
those not represented by a trade mark attorney) through the trade mark
Using cutting edge artificial intelligence technology, Trade Mark Assist makes the
process of applying for a trade mark more efficient for businesses seeking to
protect their brand. This tool will make it easier for everyone, from small
businesses to larger corporations, to apply for a trade mark and secure their
Trade Mark Assist helps users check whether their proposed
trade mark complies with relevant requirements and is a strong candidate for
registration. It also helps them identify relevant goods or services classes in
which they may wish to register their trade mark.
Trade mark rights represent IP Australia’s largest filing
category with over 76,000 applications in 2017, dominated by Australian
filers. Nearly two thirds of Australian applicants are self-filers and
around half of them only ever file once. Hence, IP Australia is constantly
looking for ways to make the system simpler and more effective for applicants.
The tool helps address the challenge of identifying the
right goods and/or services classes for a trade mark that has long been an area
of confusion for customers and one where they can make costly mistakes. Trade
Mark Assist helps customers to make better decisions early in the application
process and reduce common mistakes. It uses machine learning algorithms to
guide customers in selecting the most appropriate goods and services classes
for their trade mark.
IP Australia’s Virtual
Assistant Alex acts as the guide to Trade Mark Assist for applicants.
IP Australia developed Trade Mark Assist with technology
partner, TrademarkVision, the
Queensland start-up which has developed leading-edge artificial intelligence
and image recognition technology that it now sells internationally.
Previously, IP Australia worked with TrademarkVision to develop
Trade Mark Search which uses multiple algorithms to detect objects within
an image and make instantaneous comparisons across Australia’s entire trade
mark database of over 400,000 images, returning visually similar images within
seconds. This makes searching for similar logos simpler and faster. Australian
Trade Mark Search has made searching for Australian trade marks easier for
small businesses and introduced powerful features for intellectual property
Patricia Kelly, Director General at IP Australia commented
on Trade Mark Assist, “I’m pleased to say that 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
MOVUS’ (FitMachine is a predictive maintenance solution for
industrial machines and has been described by many as the FitBit for machines)
CEO/Founding Director Brad Parsons praised the new tool, “When I filed my trade
mark, the hardest aspect was determining the classes. Trade Mark Assist can
help you through this process. It’s great to see IP Australia investing in
tools that make it easier for businesses to protect their brand.”
Robin McGowan, Managing Director at InStitchu (a menswear
startup) shared the value of trade marks for his business, “The more successful
your business becomes the more valuable your brand is, so you want to invest in
it. 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.”