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Trade Mark Applications continue to add Value to Australian Businesses: IP Australia Report 2024

By Samantha Ludemann | Associate

IP Australia recently released their 2024 IP Report, the report sheds light on 2023 intellectual property applications, registrations, and trends with the Australian office. This data can be used to offer insights into the evolving landscape of intellectual property protection.

In summary, 2023 saw a slight decline in patent applications compared to 2022. Conversely, trade mark applications saw a steady increase in applications, indicating growth in the entrepreneurial landscape, reflecting the rebound Australia had in its business entry rate in 2023. Design applications experienced their most significant growth, with a peak in design application numbers to date suggesting an emerging interest in protecting innovative designs. Notably, as indicated by the report, there was growth in all areas of applications by Australian residents.

See below for a summary of the report data in relation trade marks. Stay tuned for our insights relating to the patent, design, copyright and plant breeder’s rights data.

Insights into 2023 trade mark applications

As above, the report reveals a steady increase in trade mark applications in 2023, while registration of applications fell 9.9%. The increase in applications underlines the growing awareness of the importance intellectual property rights have in today’s competitive business environment.

The increase of applications was 7.2% up from 2022, totalling 84,476 applications. Resident applications experienced promising growth, rising by 9.8% to reach 49,036, while non-resident applications also saw a moderate increase of 3.7% to reach 35,440. Resident applications accounted for the majority share of total annual filings, constituting 58.0% of the overall volume.

Applications originating from overseas were predominantly from key markets such as the United States, followed closely by China, with the strongest growth from 2022 at a 9.8% rise. Unsurprisingly, the United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand also made the list of top filings, reflecting open cross-border business activities.

Novartis AG, a Swiss pharmaceutical giant, emerged as the top filer with 107 applications, closely followed by L’Oréal. There was a shift downward for Glaxo Group Limited, the British biopharmaceutical company, slipping to eighth place after two consecutive years at the top. On the domestic front, Aristocrat Technologies, a gaming machine producer, topped the list, although experiencing a 16.5% decline from 2022 filings. The second highest domestic filer, Cannatrek, is an Australian-owned medicinal cannabis grower and supplier, emerging as a significant newcomer in filings.

As suggested in the IP Report 2024, trade mark filings can serve as an economic gauge, offering insights into the direction the economy is heading.

“Trade mark filings have experienced significant fluctuations during key economic downturns, including Australia’s early 1990s recession, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Trade mark applications submitted by Australian residents increased by 9.8% in 2023, reaching a total of 49,036 filings. This marks a rebound from the 16.3% decline observed in 2022. While current levels remain below the peak witnessed during the initial years of the COVID-19 pandemic, they surpass the pre-pandemic trend observed from 2015 to 2019. This resurgence in resident filings indicates a renewed confidence and recovery in Australian businesses, signalling a potential positive trajectory for the economy.

Trade mark class applications are often reflective of where Australians are spending the most money; for example, 2023 saw an increase in applications in the food, drink, and accommodation services (+9.4%), as this is where domestic spending has increased. Applications for goods used in the metaverse and virtual goods also continued to rise in 2023. While technologically oriented classes remain at the top of the list, applications in such classes fell from the filing levels of previous years.

Trade mark filings by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) constituted 73.7% of all filings made by residents, as quoted in the 2024 IP Report.

“International studies estimate that patents and trade marks increase investors’ estimates of a startup’s value by around 20% (especially in the early development stage and early financing rounds) (Hsu & Ziedonis, 2013).”[1]

Trade marks can play a significant role in boosting a startup’s perceived value, particularly their long-term growth potential.

Looking overseas, the primary target markets for Australian trade mark filings include the United States, New Zealand, China, the United Kingdom, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

It is safe to assume from the trade mark data from 2023 that there is an evolving priority of businesses and innovators in safeguarding their brand as a valuable asset. For businesses or innovators seeking to safeguard their brand through trade marks or other intellectual property rights, we invite you to contact us at XVII DEGREES to start your brand investment.


[1] Australian IP Report 2024


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