Lawyers for the Australian government have lost an appeal against a bid to have the Australian Federal Police register trademark free-speech as a trademark.
Key points:The court said the law was designed to protect freedom of speech and the right to publish the results of a court-ordered investigation.
Key point:The decision means the Federal Government can now apply for trademark registration to cover all publications and online platforms.
The Government will have to submit the applications within 30 days of the finalisation of the ruling.
The Federal Court was hearing a case over whether the law is designed to cover free speech and free expression, which is protected under the First Amendment.
The case was brought by the Federal Court’s former deputy chief justice and a group of civil liberties groups.
“The court’s decision, as it stands, makes it possible for the Government to register trademark protection for the phrase ‘free speech’, ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘free association’,” the decision said.
“While the Government cannot apply for registration under this provision, it is free to do so in a manner that does not conflict with the Act and the relevant provisions of the NT Intellectual Property Act.”
“This decision will give the Government broad powers to seek to register trademarks for free speech or freedom of expression.”‘
Crown Court decision’ is ‘no surprise’A spokesperson for the Attorney-General’s Department told the ABC the Government was “committed to free speech” and had “never challenged the right of a private party to use its trademark.”
“We have always held the trademark is a private property subject to public scrutiny and we have always taken the view that trademark law is meant to protect a private right of ownership and not to restrict speech,” they said.
The Attorney-Generals Department told ABC News the decision was “no surprise”.
“The trademark law was introduced to protect and promote the public good and it was designed by a court to protect the right and freedom of a person to publish their own thoughts and opinions.”
We will not be commenting on the decision as it has been made by the court.