Sydney Opera House at dusk

Australia's Favourite Trademarks

By James Wan

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Australia’s first federally registered trademark, IPAustralia Office launched an initiative to invite Australians to vote for their favourite trademarks. Ruth Mackay, Registrar of Trade Marks at the office stated that this is a great way for people across all walks of life in Australia to be involved and help celebrate such an important milestone in Australian history. She further noted how many Australians have strong connections with particular marks which demonstrate not only our pioneering spirit but also highlight the importance good trademarks can play when it comes down to boosting economic prosperity through successful products.

IPAustralia’s centenary celebrations have seen a unique initiative take place – the search for Australia’s favourite trademark. To start this process, 40 of the most iconic trademarks from around business and industry were nominated by members of their respective communities. These nominations then went through to a panel composed of leading figures in sport, art, business, advertising and fashion who narrowed them down to just 10 finalists that are now open for public voting online until mid-September when results will be announced on IPAustralia’s website. One such finalist is ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). The judges selected it as an example of a clever design that has been able to stand up against the test time with only subtle updates needed here or there over its long history but still retaining its original essence throughout all those years. Qantas was another nominee whose kangaroo logo has become instantly recognizable worldwide due largely to its commitment towards reliability engineering excellence customer service since it first took flight many decades ago.

Vegemite has been a staple of Australian life since 1922 and is so beloved that it’s said many backpackers never travel without some. Similarly, the iconic parrot symbol associated with Arnott’s biscuits was trademarked in 1907 – legend has it this design came from William Arnott’s daughter-in-law Mrs Leslie Arnott. R M Williams also boasts an impressive history; established in 1932, its clothing line embodies the true spirit of Australia which earned them recognition from selection panels worldwide. Other much-loved trademarks include David Jones department store, Penfolds wine company Wallabies rugby team Weet Bix breakfast cereal and Woolmark - all part of the cherished national identity for Australians everywhere!

On July 2nd, 1906 Australia’s Trade Marks Act 1905 (Commonwealth) came into effect and on that same day, more than 750 applications were submitted to be registered. PEPS was the first product of many which would become federally protected in this milestone moment for Australian intellectual property law. In recent years, over one million trademarks have been successfully registered with 50,000 added during the 2004-2005 financial year alone - an impressive figure!