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Australian trademark law

In Australia, trademarks are governed by the 1995 Trade Mark Act and are administered by a federal government department called IP Australia. The law in Australia is somewhat different in the details to the law in the United States. Section 17 of the Trade Mark Act defines a "trade mark" as "a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person." The procedure to register a mark is relatively straightforward. An application is filed with IP Australia (either by delivery to one of its regional offices or electronically), and it is assessed by an examiner for deficiencies. The examiner may issue a report on the application - most deficiencies are based on an assessment that the mark is not inherently adapted to distinguish the goods, or is likely to deceive or cause confusion (because of similarity to a third party's trade mark). Once the applicant has an opportunity to be heard on the report, the application will either be rejected or accepted for advertisement in the Official Journal. Any party who wishes to oppose the registration of the mark can file a notice of opposition, which culminates in administrative proceedings. Otherwise, IP Australia will issue a certificate to the applicant, certifying registration.

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