The trade marks register as a crystal ball

Hayley TarrHayley Tarr, Principal of Tarr Law, shares her insight on recently filed trade mark applications. She will be presenting at the upcoming Trade Marks Law: Back to Basics webinar this Thursday, 20 October.


Has the Australian government invented a flying bus and other questions raised by a run of the mill trade mark search?

So much data can be obtained by the Australian patents, designs and trade marks databases: statistics, trends, and even glimpses into the future.

The Crown in Right of the Commonwealth of Australia c/- The Australian Electoral Commission has recently filed for a series of interesting trade mark applications including:

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Both of these have received objections from IP Australia, raising the interesting question of conflict of interest between one branch of the executive now pitted against another branch of the executive in a stoush over whether or not these trade marks will proceed to registration.

Perhaps more interesting though, is what these trade mark applications indicate is to come. Has the Australian government invented a flying bus?!

Alas, a patent search on the Australian patent register revealed that while there is – incredibly – one invention with the title “Flying Bus”, the applicant was Jean Margaret Burgess, not the Australian government, and the application dates back to 1969.

Also, the trade mark applications are not in class 12, which is the trade mark class into which vehicles such as buses are categorised.

These trade marks are filed in classes 9, 16, 25, 28, 35 and 41.

Class 9 is the trade mark class into which software applications are categorised. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Australian government was taking first steps towards converting our paper-based voting system into an electronic app based system? It would certainly be nice to avoid that awkward walk past the hecklers (aka party representatives) on your way in to vote. And the app could have a lot of useful information for voters to read up about the people, parties, and policies they are voting for, right at the time they are voting, all in the one app.

This is all just wishful thinking on the author’s part, but it is fun to hypothesise. What do you think the Australian government is planning to do with the robot and the flying bus?

Hayley has a Bachelor of Science majoring in genetics, a Bachelor of laws with first class honours, and a Masters of Industrial Property Law. She is admitted as a patent and trade marks attorney, a solicitor in the state of Queensland, and an attorney in the state of New York, USA. Having worked for top tier firms such as Allens and Minter Ellison, and taught at Bond University, Hayley founded Tarr Law in January 2020. Tarr Law is a boutique intellectual property law firm, able to assist clients in all intellectual property matters including: trade marks, copyright, designs, domain names, patents, and IP disputes.
In addition to running Tarr Law, Hayley dedicates a great deal of time as a volunteer mediator for Bayside Community Legal Centre. Hayley is also a mentor for the Gold Coast Innovation Hub. In other community engagement initiatives, Hayley participated in the St Vinnies CEO Sleepout to raise money for the homeless in June 2022 and will be speaker and chair at Legalwise Seminars in October and November 2022. Everything Hayley does is for the sake of her two beautiful daughters. When she is not in the office, you’ll find her seeking out new and adventurous experiences with her girls. Please do not hesitate to reach out. Hayley would love to assist you with your intellectual property needs. Connect with Hayley via LinkedIn.