7.Phonewords and Phone Numbers

Date Published


Phonewords and SMS words include 1300, 1800, 13 and 197 phone numbers that are presented alphabetically using the letters of a telephone or mobile key pad (e.g. 1300 GROCER, 1800 RABBIT and 13 BAGS).

The licence to use a phoneword or SMS words is for the actual numerals forming the operational part of the phone number (not for the alphabetical segment). For example the licence to use the phoneword 13 BAGS lies in the number 13 2247.

A section 43 ground for rejection will apply if the applicant for a trade mark containing material likely to be viewed as a phoneword, or the numbers representing a phoneword, is not also the owner (or authorised user) of that phoneword. For example, the following trade marks consisting of or containing material likely

to be viewed as a phoneword would attract a section 43 ground for rejection:


  • 1800 RABBIT
  • 1800 722248
  • 1300 RABBIT
  • 1800 RABBITS 4 U
  • 1300 RABBITS 4 U
  • 1800 RABBITS ARE THE BEST PETS
  • 1300 RABBITS ARE THE BEST PETS

  • 13 BAGS
  • 13 2247
  • 13 BAGS 4 U


The section 43 ground for rejection will be reconsidered if an applicant provides information confirming that they are the owner or authorised user of the phoneword.

Other phone numbers which do not appear to represent a phoneword should not be queried or researched specifically in respect of section 43, unless other information before the examiner gives them particular reason to suspect that the applicant may not be the licensed user of the number.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Reordering of Part 29, new page created