Foreign entities wishing to register an Australian trademark should be aware that Australia is a ‘first-to-use’ jurisdiction. This means that the owner of a trademark is the first user of that trademark.
First to File
In some jurisdictions, the entity that is the first to file an application to register a particular trademark is the owner of that trademark. In a first to file jurisdictions the applicant will generally be the owner of the trademark regardless of whether the applicant has used the trademark prior to making an application for registration, and regardless of whether another entity (that has not previously applied to register the trademark) is already using it.
Arguably, a first-to-file system is easier to manage. Generally, in a first-to-file country, the only step the relevant IP Office needs to take to establish ownership of a trademark is to determine who was the first to file an application to register the relevant trademark. Read more…