Australia is quite unique as it offers two types of trademark application filings:

  1. Standard filing
  • You get an immediate filing date
  • You cannot make changes to your application or list of products/services
  • Your trademark is reviewed after filing
  • Your trademark proceeds through a standard examination process until registration


  1. Headstart filing
  • This is pre-application services provided by IP Australia
  • You pay higher filing fees (AUD$330 vs. AUD$250 per class) but you only pay AUD$200 at the beginning
  • Your trademark is assessed by an Examiner before it is filed.
  • You get a report within 5 days of filing. Once you get the report you can decide if you want to proceed further. If you want to convert your application into a Standard application, you have to pay the remainder of the fees.
  • You can make changes to your trademark or description once you get the report.
  • Once your trademark is converted, you get a formal filing date and no more changes are allowed.
  • Your trademark proceeds through a standard examination process until it registers


While a Headstart application may be a great choice there are some important drawback of this filing:

Since you don’t get a filing date immediately, what if somebody else filed a similar trademark while you were waiting for the Headstart report?

Trademark Office is not bound by the Headstart report and can issue different objection at a later date.

If your products are unique and not in the picklist, Headstart may not be the best choice since it only allows to pick the products/services from the list of pre-approved goods and services.

How do you know which one to use? We can usually advise when Headstart may be reccommended. If we find similar trademarks and unsure that your trademark will register, we can recommend Headstart trademark application filing first. If you don’t want to invest a ton of money in your marketing campaign and want to maximize your chances for your trademark to be approved, Headstart may be the answer.

Once we receive a Headstart examination report, you can then make a decision whether to proceed with the filing.


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