AUSTRALIA’S trademark office has ruled against the trademark owners of “californian princess” and “caligula” in a bid to stop them from trademarking the phrase “California Dream”.
Key points:The trademark office said in a statement that the trademark holders are using the term to disparage Australia and its cultureThe trademark owners had argued that the phrase was not in the public domainThe trademark holders were given the go-ahead to register the trademark in FebruaryThis decision means the trademark office will not issue a formal application to trademark “calisareg” and will instead “issue a notification that it will apply for a provisional trademark”.
“The applicants have not been given any opportunity to respond to the notice, and it is therefore appropriate that a final determination is made on the matter by the Registrar’s Office,” the trademark Office said in the statement.
The trademark application was filed by the trademark owner, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in April, after the ABC’s Australian program “Caligula”.
The ABC aired footage of a young woman holding a flag with the slogan “California Dream” and asked viewers if they believed “cali” and the “dream” were “real”.
The slogan was first used in the US in the 1970s as a catchphrase for the country’s hippie culture.
The ABC’s program has since been re-aired in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.ABC’s legal team said in their complaint that the term “calice” was likely to cause “discriminatory harm to Australia’s culture and the economy”, and that “calie” could be used to denigrate Australians.
The “Calibean Dream” trademark was created by a trademark owner in 2000, and is registered in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
The name of the trademark was later changed to “Cali Dream”.
“We are disappointed that the Australian trademark office did not issue the appropriate notice to the trademark applicants and that it is the first time in the history of Australia that the Commonwealth has taken such action against a trademark,” the statement said.
“The Australian trademark administration should not be allowing its administrative discretion to become a tool for bullying trademark owners.”
The trademark applicants said the term was not trademarked and that they could not “be held responsible for the use of their trademark in the future”.
The trademark holder said in an email that the ABC had “made an extraordinary error in taking a very serious action against the ‘Calibre’ trademark”.
They argued that “Calisaregs” and other “caliphs” were not real “caliphs”, and argued that this was “unusual behaviour” by a broadcaster in relation to a program.
“This case is not about one particular brand of beer, but rather about the whole of the Australian economy, and of its people and culture,” the Australian Trademark and Patent Office said.
Topics:copyright,technology,technology-and-artificial-intelligence,advertising,consumer-protection,federal-government,law-crime-and_justice,technology—consumer-information,advertising-and/or-marketing,french-speaking-unions,calgary-4000,canberra-2600,sydney-2000,australiaFirst posted November 03, 2019 07:51:59Contact Sarah Gellert