Australia – Reduction of the period for filing non-use removal applications

The Intellectual Property Laws (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Act 2018 (Cth) commenced on 25 August 2018 and implements recommendations that the Productivity Commission made in its inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements.

Of particular note for trade marks is the reduction of the period for filing non-use removal applications. Previously, a non-use removal application (on the basis that the registered trade mark had not been used for a continuous period of three years before the date of the removal application) could only be commenced five years after the filing date of the application for registration of the relevant trade mark (non-use grace period).

The Trade Marks Act 1995 (Act) now provides that the non-use grace period will commenced on the date on which the trade mark was entered on the Register (this was previously the filing date of the application) and will continue for three years from that date.

The reduction of the grace period will only apply to a non-use application filed against a trade mark that is filed after 24 February 2019.