4. Translation/transliteration of non-English words and non-Roman characters

Date Published

Where a trade mark includes words in a language other than English (represented in Roman letters), the applicant must file an English translation in support of the trade mark application if required to do so by the Registrar (subreg 4.3(5)).  An example of when a translation would be necessary is where the English meaning is likely to impact on whether or not a ground for rejection will be raised.

The request from the Registrar can be made at the time of filing or later (in practice requests will be made during examination).

However, if a trade mark includes characters constituting words (being characters that are not Roman letters) subreg 4.3(6) states that the applicant must provide:

a. a transliteration of the characters into Roman letters using the recognised system of Romanisation of the characters (if any); and

b. a translation of the words into English


4.1  Translation/transliteration endorsement

A transliteration changes characters from one alphabet to another (e.g. Japanese characters into Roman letters) and gives the sound a non-Roman character makes when spoken.  

For example, the Japanese characters こんにちは are transliterated into Roman letters as KONNICHIWA.

A translation is the rendering of words into another language and provides the meaning of the words.

For example, the Japanese characters こんにちは are translated into English as HELLO.


4.1.1

A translation endorsement must be entered on the Register for those trade marks containing words in a language other than English when the translation has been requested by the Registrar or voluntarily provided by the applicant.

The form the endorsement should take is as follows:

The applicant has advised that a translation of the (LANGUAGE) word/s___________ appearing in the trade mark is_______________.

If an Indigenous word has been applied for, the applicant should specify the language or nation from which the word originates.


4.1.2

A transliteration endorsement must be entered on the Register for all trade marks that contain non-Roman characters.  This endorsement must also contain a translation of the non-Roman characters.

A transliteration must be provided for ALL non-Roman characters in the trade mark.

The form the endorsement should take is as follows:

The applicant has advised that the (LANGUAGE) characters appearing in the trade mark may be transliterated as ______________________ and translated into English as _________________.

Where there is no meaningful translation of the transliterated word(s), the form the endorsement should take is as follows:

The applicant has advised that the (LANGUAGE) characters appearing in the trade mark may be transliterated as ______________ and there is no meaning in English.

Transliterations of Chinese characters should be provided using the Pinyin system, and transliterations of Japanese characters should be provided using the Hepburn system.


4.1.3

Provided the information supplied by applicants is in the correct format and appears valid, it should be accepted at face value unless research during normal examination indicates otherwise.