Australian Movement Trade Marks: Businesses “Moving” with the Times?

In a technological age where most consumers are receiving their information digitally, brands need to find new ways to engage with consumers. With nine out of ten Australians owning a smart phone and spending on average three hours a day on their devices, consumer engagement by way of multimedia is growing, increasing the popularity of movement trade marks.

The first movement trade mark was registered in Australia in 2002. There are currently 99 registered movement trade marks in Australia.

What is a movement trade mark?
A movement trade mark gives a business protection for a moving logo such an animated gif or other video. Many movement marks consist of animated computer sequences and short videos, allowing viewers of the trade mark register to experience the marks exactly as the creator intended.

How to apply?
For a movement trade mark it is a requirement that a moving visual representation (multimedia file) is submitted when filing the application, demonstrating the desired trade mark.

When applying for trade mark registration a business must attach a description of the trade mark highlighting the features of the mark. The more particular and defined the description the more likely it will be accepted.

A well recognised movement mark includes the Toyota jump mark (trade mark number 1676600). The Toyota mark consists of the silhouette of a woman leaping into the air from a standing start extending her arms up above her head and tucking her knees behind her.

Popularised more recently by Nuscret Gökçe, also known as SaltBae, is the act of putting salt onto meat. The mark consists of a man raising his arm and opening his hand to sprinkle grains of salt onto a piece of meat (trade mark number 1840549).

SaltBae (with sound)

With innovative advertising and creative marketing to promote goods or services, the use of a movement mark will enable brands to protect multimedia representations. It is important that brands are aware that non-traditional marks, such as movement marks, can be protected by way of filing a trade mark application to prevent third parties from using similar movements in relation to similar goods and services which may tarnish their reputation.

By Chris Round and Laura Skazlic

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