Aparna Watal


IP Lawyer, Trade Mark Attorney
BE(Hons)(Chem), Juris Doctor


Aparna Watal

Practice Areas

Aparna is a highly skilled trade mark lawyer and attorney practising in Australia and New Zealand. She has extensive experience in advising clients on all aspects of trade mark matters, from brand selection, expansion and commercial exploitation to brand enforcement. She also advises on domain name disputes in Australia and New Zealand. Aparna is highly regarded for the commerciality of her advice and extracting the best outcomes for her clients in tricky and legally complex contentious and non-contentious matters.

Aparna’s expertise extends to navigating the intricate landscape of Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP), where she collaborates with fashion houses and indigenous communities alike, offering tailored solutions to address their unique needs and challenges.


With a background in chemical engineering, Aparna is one of the few trade mark experts in Australia and New Zealand who bring a uniquely robust technical foundation that transcends industry boundaries. Aparna has represented many of the world’s most valuable brands across a wide range of industries, with a particular focus on the following sectors: energy; chemicals and materials; manufacturing; pharmaceuticals; fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG); technology; automotive; media and broadcasting; and, telecommunications.

Aparna started her journey in trade marks with top tier IP-specialist firms in Australia and New Zealand where she worked on trade mark portfolios of all sizes, right from start-ups to well-known global brands who relied on her expertise in trade marks and domain names to guide them.

Before joining Halfords as a Partner, Aparna worked as Special Counsel in Baker McKenzie’s Australian brands practice. Aparna co-founded and managed Baker’s New Zealand Trade Marks Practice.

In addition to her legal acumen and technical expertise, Aparna’s clients really value her responsiveness and unwavering dedication to achieving their commercial goals, solidifying her reputation as a trusted advisor and an invaluable asset to their endeavours.

Aparna has represented clients in many high profile trade marks and domain name disputes. Her representative legal matters, include:

  • acting for one of Australia’s most iconic certification schemes in respect of all aspects of trade mark clearances, protection, enforcement and management of its worldwide portfolio of household brands;
  • acting in a number of domain name disputes for a leading automotive manufacturer with a 100% success rate;
  • acting for one of the world’s most recognized technology companies with products and services in healthcare, aviation, power, renewable energy in respect of all aspects of its trade mark clearances, protection, enforcement and management in Australia and New Zealand;
  • acting for leading healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in respect of their trade mark portfolio in Australia and New Zealand;
  • handling Australian trade mark matters for one of the world’s most recognized media companies, including negotiating and advising on licensing deals;
  • acting for a global automotive company in respect of the filing, prosecution and maintenance of its trade marks in Australia and New Zealand; and
  • acting for major Australian entities in handling global and local trade mark prosecution, brand strategy and trade mark portfolio management work.

Professional Memberships

  • International Trade Marks Association (INTA)

Aparna is an active member of the INTA’s Indigenous Rights Sub-Committee and is currently co-chairing the sub-committee’s best practices guide for brands dealing with ICIP.

  • Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand (IPSANZ)

Aparna is part of IPSANZ’s NSW Committee.

  • ChIPs Network.

Aparna is on the leadership of ChIPs Network’s Australia and New Zealand Chapter as its Events Chair and acting Co-Chair.

  • Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (IPTA)