Trade marks

Australian, Victorian, British and American trade marks

Victorian trade marks

Vintage Cognac, 1863 H96.160/2125Victorian registered trade marks - 1876 to 1906 - were registered under The Victorian Trade Marks Registration Act, 1876. On receipt of an application, a number was allocated from the Register of trade marks. This number was retained for accepted applications. If an application was refused or abandoned, the original application number was not reissued. Applications were registered in a single number sequence, in chronological order of receipt, within Classes. Trade marks could be registered in Victoria under one or more of the 50 classes in use.

Victorian trade marks were registered for 14 years, and could be renewed. The colonial systems of trade mark registration operated until July 1906, until this function passed to the Commonwealth. At this time, current trade marks were transferred to, and entered into, the Commonwealth Register of trade marks, and were given a new number and Class.

Finding Victorian trademarks

Online indexes to Victorian trade marks are available online via the Victoria Government Gazette Online Archive 1836-1997

The gazette lists the details of Victorian trade mark applications, including the names of applicants, trade mark numbers, date of applications, titles of trade marks, and images of trade mark representations.

To search the online gazette:

  1. Click on 'Advanced search'
  2. Enter a word (person, company, trade mark) in the Search box
  3. Search from 1836 to 1997, or select a specific date range
  4. In the Subject box, highlight the three subject headings that include the term 'trade marks'
  5. Click 'Search'.

For example, searching under the word 'fruit' from 1876 to 1906 finds 9 records, dating from 1883 to 1902.

Also, use a keyword or keywords in the 'Basic search' box of the online gazette:

  1. Enter the term 'trade marks' in the keyword search box
  2. Search from 1836 to 1997, returns over 200 items for trade mark registration from 1876

Searching for Victorian registered trade marks in the Victorian Government Gazettes 1843-1999 is also available via the AustLII (Australasian Legal Information Institute) online database. The AustLII search interface differs to the one noted above. Keyword searching results in large numbers of results, and it is difficult to narrow down search results to manageable numbers, and to specific date ranges. 

Victorian trade marks at the National Archives of Australia (NAA)

Victoria Jam Company, H96.160/2275The National Archives of Australia (NAA) Canberra office holds copies of Victorian trade mark applications, together with registers and indexes, as noted in the Series listed below. You can request copies of trade marks from the NAA. If you know the relevant NAA Series number, also quote this in your request. Contact details are on the NAA's "Ask us a question" page.

Note that the majority of trade marks held in the collections of the NAA, have not been individually indexed or digitised. Therefore, an online search, using an applicant's name or trade mark name or word, is unlikely to find individual trade mark records, even though the item is held by the NAA.

NAA Series A1181 - Registers of Victorian trade marks (1876-1906). The registers include an alphabetical index of names of applicants, plus trade mark number, date of registration, name, address and occupation of proprietor, class and description of goods. A small copy of the trade mark being registered is in the register. 

NAA Series A11731 - Applications for registration of Victorian trade marks (1876-1906). This series includes representations, or copies, of the trade mark. Some of these remained with the application, while others were incorporated into other NAA Series: A1193 (Classification Index to Victorian Trade Marks - 1876-1891) and A1183 (Classification Index to Victorian Trade Marks - 1891-1906).

NAA Series A1182 - Alphabetical name/subject index to Victorian trade marks (1876-1906) 

NAA Series A1184 - Index to constituent particulars of Victorian trade marks (1876-1906)

Trade mark images registered under copyright

Selected examples of the trade mark images that appear in this guide (for example, Victoria Jam Company Gooseberry), were not registered under trade mark legislation, but were registered under copyright legislation. These images of printed labels that include trade marks, were registered in Victoria from 1870 to 1906, under the Victorian Copyright Acts of 1869 and 1890. This legislation granted exclusive rights in areas of design, literary, dramatic and musical productions, lectures, and fine arts. These labels, and many other items, are held in the State Library's Victorian Patent Office Copyright Collection (VPOCC)

State Library Victoria

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Victorian trade marks - list of classes (1876-1906)

Victorian trade marks could be registered under one or more Classes, as listed on the attached document.

1876 Victorian trade mark


In December 1876 Joseph Wertheim of Bornheim Germany, registered two trade marks in Victoria for sewing machines (Class 6). Number 28 for the special and distinctive word "Wertheim", and number 29 for the dwarf or gnome of German fable