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The COVID-19 Trade Mark Influx

29 March 2021
Trademarks are a fundamental part to the success of a company or business. Trademarks provide strategic protection of your brand and products. Unfortunately, simply registering a Business Name, Company Name or internet domain name does not provide any registered IP rights.

Although trademarking is not required, it comes with many great benefits such as it gives you the legal ownership in specific locations, legal recourse to stop other business using the same or similar name, exclusive rights to mark your products and protect you from counterfeit products.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the world. It has taken a hit at some countries health care systems, economies, and social life. However, out of the countless things that COVID-19 has stopped people from doing, it appears that filing for Trademarks has not been one of them.

Some of the Trademark applications that have been lodged since the COVID-19 pandemic have been somewhat controversial.

A number of companies in Australia have rushed to register Trademarks that include words associated with the deadly virus.

A NSW company applied to register the Trade Mark 'Corona Clean' for use of detergents for medical and household use. A Victorian company has attempted to register 'Coronavision' under a broad category of services which include education, television and news. While another Newcastle company applied to register 'Covidex' for disinfectants including sprays and wipes as well as hand sanitizer.

Even a number of Trademark applications have been made for 'COVID-19' and 'Coronavirus' under a surprising variation of classes of goods and services, ranging from board gams to academic examination services.

IP Australia will object any application that is solely descriptive of the claimed goods or services. In light of the similarity to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may also be issues of similar prior registered Trademarks.

Six Trademark applications for 'Covid-19' have already been rejected by IP Australia. While there are a number of applications, such as 'Love in the time of COVID-19', which are currently pending/under examination. Some have obtained registered Trademark protection, such as 'eHealthier's Interim COVID Behavioral Vaccine' and 'DisCovid' which are now on the Australian Trademark register.

If you need to register a Trademark for your business name, product, service, or someone is infringing your trademark our experienced lawyers at IP Partnership are ready to help!