Trade Marks

How to Defend a Trademark Opposition in Australia

Max Steinhausen

Navigating the complexities of trademark laws and systems can be a daunting task, especially when facing an opposition to your trademark application in Australia. This article aims to guide individuals and businesses through the steps and strategies involved in defending a trademark opposition effectively.

Understanding Trademark Opposition in Australia

A trademark opposition in Australia occurs when a third party challenges your trademark application, typically on grounds that it is too similar to an existing trademark, may cause confusion, or violates existing laws. Understanding the basis of these objections is crucial in formulating a strong defense strategy.

1. Responding to a Notice of Opposition

Once you receive a Notice of Opposition from IP Australia, it's essential to respond within the stipulated timeframe. Failure to do so can result in the loss of your rights to the trademark.

Key Steps:

  • Review the Notice of Opposition carefully.
  • Determine the deadline for your response.
  • Consult with a trademark specialist in Australian .

2. Gather Evidence and Build Your Case

Building a robust defense involves collecting evidence that supports your right to the trademark.

Types of Evidence:

  • Proof of distinctiveness: Show how your mark is unique.
  • Prior use: Evidence of using the mark before the opposer.
  • Market research: Demonstrating lack of confusion among consumers.

3. File a Counter-Statement

A well-prepared counter-statement should address each point raised in the opposition. It's your opportunity to argue why your trademark application should be approved.


  • Be clear and concise.
  • Use evidence to support your arguments.
  • Highlight the differences between your mark and the opposing mark.

4. Consider Negotiation or Mediation

Sometimes, resolving the dispute outside of formal proceedings can be beneficial. Negotiation or mediation can lead to a mutually agreeable solution, saving time and resources.

5. Prepare for a Hearing

If the opposition proceeds to a hearing, be prepared to present your case before the Trademarks Office.

Preparation Tips:

  • Practice your arguments.
  • Understand the legal principles involved.
  • Be ready to answer questions on your evidence.


Defending a trademark opposition in Australia requires a strategic approach, thorough preparation, and, often, professional assistance. By understanding the process and assembling a strong case, you can increase your chances of successfully defending your trademark application.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Partners & IP Offices

We work with partners and IP Offices around the globe.

IP Australia  s

I've been working with Max and the team for a number of years now. They have helped me with multiple trade marks, objections/challenges and advice around the technicalities of the law. I would highly recommend talking to them if you're looking for great customer service, advice and results!

Mathew Stillone
Founder/Managing Director, Integrity Food Co.

Thank you to Max and the whole team! Your work is always of a high standard, professional and timely. I highly recommend Max and the team to any organisation needing IP support!

Anthea Thomas
Director, Hypnobirthing Australia

Excellent service, great result. We initially had issues with our trademark and called them to lodge a declaration to support the mark. Our mark was finally accepted and we believe this was only due to the thorough and detailed documents that were submitted to the trademark office. Great work!

Jason Morrisby
Founder/ Director, Mask Co.

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