CHOICE membership

Trademark Applications


Another amazing trademark dispute whereby a UK supermarket chain was preventing Icelend using their country’s name to promote their own tourist industry.


Hopefully no one will register “Australia” for some commercial operation.



The relevance of this assumes that global warming does not continue, resulting in a meaningless trademark. Opportunity to trade mark “Less Ice-Land”? :roll_eyes:

Sounds a little out of the tree? Look what happened to copyright and Waltzing Matilda! Don’t even whisper TPP if the USA every joins in.


A somewhat amusing article regarding a trademark application bun fight.

Only in America.


Apple cops a well deserved smackdown.

Apple fails to register Swatch’s trademark when Apple only ever used the words in spruiking their presentations.

What a bunch of grubs.



Hi I’m someone who studied both trademark and copyright as part of my time at uni. Anyone got any questions?


What would you suggest needs to be changed to make the system fairer and more effective, and why?

It seems sometimes that big corporates are starting to claim protective ownership of everyday language, physical attributes, colours and gestures.

Will common writing soon need to have an accompanying list of references to registered trademarks and copyrights?


An example, interestingly from 1984.


Honestly trademarks aren’t where I’m worried. Most of them get knocked back. And remember that a trademark doesn’t mean they ‘Own’ the term. A trademark can only be claimed if there’s ‘reasonable’ grounds it could lead to confusion between products. So for example Cadbury has had the colour purple trademarked for decades. That doesn’t mean no one else can use it. It just means no similar products can use it in a way that causes confusion.

Where I think the system can be fairer is copyright. Copyright has been repeatedly extended at the lobbying of corporations, not artists. I’d argue the government is better off reducing copyright to pre-1965 or even further. That would allow increased productivity from the arts sector as artists (myself included) are more free to remix other’s work whilst still having to pay them if they have only recently died.


It’s a good example!

So now does the hypothetical confectionary shop owner stand if their purple hued shop awning or shop trim predates Cadbury’s trademark application? That assumes the owner has no trademark on the colour for his business. The owner may have a logo with that colour in the scheme.

And how would that owner stand later opening a second or expanded business using a similar shop front?

It seems anti competitive for a business to lock up something that is relatively every day, for exclusive use. It seems easier to understand uniqueness in a design or pattern as being more appropriate. The same principle as a burnt on “cattle brand”?

Sorry if I misinterpreted the offer? It is a topic some of us might find useful to explore?

Copyright law might be best in a topic of it’s own. There has been much discussion in other Community topics around the impacts of the TPP if fully implemented, the so called ‘Australia tax’ on imported goods and lack of access to copyrighted material for use or sale in Australia. I’d argue where a rights holder chooses to exclude you from reasonable access on equitable and fair terms they forfeit the protection afforded by copyright? It’s a global market place.

For trademark law, history is no excuse for what might be shown today as a second best or worse, totally inappropriate. It’s a time honoured practice to overturn tradition, to change laws and undo the legacies of our past law makers. Consumer law is also locked in the same ongoing battle.

Otherwise few men and no women would be able to vote, and our lords and masters would see us all transported or worse for simple crimes, like not buying ‘the Australian’? :flushed:


Well it would only be an issue if Cadbury could successfully argue that people could think it’s an official Cadbury shop. It’s not a perfect system but I’ve not heard of that trademark causing any issues.

And yeah I do know trademark law as well, but I meant trademarks aren’t what I think needs change in that area.


Bega defeats Kraft in legal case over peanut paste labelling.

Now Kraft will have to change their labels.

Great stuff.



Another disgraceful trademark feud between an US multinational and a small Australian business over Ugg Boots.

Hopefully the big bully boy will come off second best ar per the Kraft and Bega stoush.



I don’t think they stand much chance in the USA but here it has been a different story. To see the Wikipedia entry about all prior history to the Ugg disputes visit:


Another company attemping to rip-off an Australian company’s trademark and to decieve consumers gets an expensive smackdown.



Unfortunately the big bully boy won.

I’m disgusted.



The outcome was the most likely one as I expressed above. USA Trademark infringement in their Jurisdiction will almost always fail. The manufacturer if they had restricted their sales to Australia and NZ would have had the protection of our previous Ugg boot history in Courts but once they stepped into the US Courts and sales domain they faced the US history of their Courts which has supported the Trademark status of the Ugg name as belonging to Deckers Outdoor.


Here ia an absolute classic regarding a petition I received today from

WAM clothing holds the exclusive global copyright for the Aboriginal flag and has sent a Cease & Desist notice to Clothing The Gap Products.

Hopefully our national flag is copyrighted to us.



Wow, that sucks.

I think the petition text gets it largely wrong but I agree with its bottom line: it’s an unacceptable situation.

It leaves me scratching my head as to how someone let that happen. Our toadying government has made the situation worse (by making copyright last for so long) but it would seem to be far too late to fix this problem now.


Not quite correct.


It is held by Harold Thomas. The WAM Clothing indicates that they pay royalties to Harold Thomas for the use of the flag on this clothing.

The petition is targting the wrong party. It possibly should be approaching Harold Thomas (a descendant of the Luritja people and is a highly celebrated artist) as he would have been the one who entered into the restricted licence with WAM Clothing and holds the copyright.

Being the copyright owner, he can chose who and how he licences his artwork.

Here is some more information about the flag and its use…


With reference to @phb’s post re Harold Thomas the wrong party does appear to be in the sights, but as for being too late to fix anything that might need fixing? No! Now going off topic about the why’s that is the case.

Nothing is ever ‘too late’ when it suits the government for its own ends.

This dated paper touches on the ramifications. Retrospective tax changes are open slather for government.