Shine taken off glossy trade mark

Recently, Bauer Media (publisher of Australian magazines such as Cosmopolitan and The Australian Women’s Weekly) have received negative press for lodging a trade mark application for the word GLOSSY in respect of printed publications including magazines – ostensibly because many in the print media world associate the word GLOSSY with a print publication which is printed on high quality paper stock – such as a magazine.

Although interest from the media in this trade mark is recent, Bauer Media (and its predecessor) have in fact been attempting to obtain trade mark rights for the word GLOSSY without success since 2007, and have filed a number of divisional applications.

Although we do not have access to the file histories, it is likely that the trade mark is being objected to on the basis that it is not inherently adapted to distinguish the goods/services (since GLOSSY is used to indicate the kind of goods/services), and that other traders may wish to legitimately use the word GLOSSY in relation to print publications.

Since its first filing in 2007 (application number 1158304), Bauer Media may be able to provide evidence of up to seven years’ use of the word GLOSSY as a trade mark (1620362 GLOSSY) in order to convince the Trade Marks Office to accept the application. Whether this will be enough evidence of use remains to be seen. Even if the application is accepted, the cutthroat world of print media suggests that the deadline for opposition will be closely watched by their competitors!


Mark’s academic background is in computer science and electrical engineering. He assists clients in obtaining and enforcing their intellectual property rights in the areas of software, electronics and engineering. Prior to joining Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, Mark worked for a leading automotive manufacturer.