Australia's Favorite Trademarks

September 2006

IP Australia staff held a competition to design a logo for the centenary celebrations.
IP Australia staff held a competition to design a logo for the centenary celebrations.

Australia is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first federally registered trademark with a call to Australians to vote for their favorite trademarks.

"We connect with brands at a personal level and associate them with moments in our own lives," said Ruth Mackay, Registrar of Trade Marks at the IP Australia Office. "That’s why we wanted to do something where all Australians have a chance to contribute to the celebrations."

The Australian pioneering spirit and originality is often reflected in the country’s trademarks. Many Australians admit a personal attachment to certain marks, and recognize the importance of good trademarks in contributing to the success of a product and to the nation’s economic prosperity.

Members of the business and industry community nominated 40 of Australia’s most prominent trademarks for consideration. A panel of Australian personalities from the worlds of sport, art, business, advertising and fashion narrowed these down to their top ten. And from this shortlist, the Australian people have been voting online to choose Australia’s favorite trademark. The results will be announced on the IP Australia centenary website in mid September.

Among the top ten are:

ABC. The panel selected the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) trade mark as a clever design that had stayed modern and relevant with a few updates, but with its essence unchanged.

Qantas. The famous Qantas kangaroo is instantly recognized all over the world as an Australian emblem. The airline prides itself on a long history focused on reliability, engineering excellence and customer service.

Vegemite. This dates back to 1922 when the Fred Walker company (which eventually became Kraft Foods Limited) hired a young chemist to develop a vitamin-rich spread from brewers’ yeast. Australian back-packers, it is said, never travel without a tube of it.

Arnott’s. The company registered its famous parrot as a trade mark in 1907. Legend has it that it was William Arnott’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. Leslie Arnott, who first drew the bird that appears on everything from biscuits to trucks.

R.M.Williams The clothing company was established in Australia in 1932. Is was described by the selection panel as " the true son of the outback - synonymous with the Australian outback image."

Plus the trademarks of the David Jones department store, the Penfolds wine company, the Wallabies rugby team, the Weet-Bix breakfast cereal and the Woolmark.

Other activities planned for the centenary year include seminars in each state, a poster campaign to teach school children about intellectual property, and an interactive timeline on trademarks to be published on the website. The IP Australia office kicked off the celebrations with a staff competition to design the logo for the event. The winning entry, by Sally Monck (above), will be used throughout the centenary year on promotional materials and on the IP Australia Trade Marks’ Centenary website.

Australia’s Trade Marks Act 1905 (Commonwealth) came into operation on July 2, 1906. On that first day, more than 750 applications were lodged. PEPS, a product for coughs, colds and bronchitis, was the first federally registered mark. Since that time, Australia has registered over one million marks – over 50,000 of them in the 2004-05 financial year.

The WIPO Magazine is intended to help broaden public understanding of intellectual property and of WIPO’s work, and is not an official document of WIPO. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WIPO concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. This publication is not intended to reflect the views of the Member States or the WIPO Secretariat. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WIPO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.