UPDATED: Is The Saturday Paper just the beginning?

1622066_369210356551749_540645244_nNewly launched Australian newspaper The Saturday Paper has only published two issues so far, but a slew of recent trade marks and domains hint that it may go beyond a Saturday-only release.

The Saturday Paper is published by Schwartz Media, and its first issue was released across Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra on March 1.

Nine new trade marks were lodged on March 10 for the following terms: The Monday Paper, The Tuesday Paper, The Wednesday Paper, The Thursday Paper, The Friday Paper, The Saturday Paper, The Sunday Paper, The Weekend Paper and The Saturday Weekly.

All these trade mark applications were classed under “Publishing of newspapers” and were filed, not by Schwartz Media, but by ‘Media Might Pty Ltd’ and ‘Billion Group Pty Ltd’, which both have Sydney addresses.

Schwartz Media, however, is based in Melbourne, so the trade marks may not be associated with the publisher – therefore, the filing of “The Saturday Paper” would potentially warrant a trade mark opposition by Schwartz Media if it is not connected to Media Might and Billion Group.

Meanwhile, a number of currently unused domains have been registered using the aforementioned terms.

Six domains were registered by Morry Schwartz, the publisher of Schwartz Media, on February 6 this year: TheMondayPaper.com.au, TheTuesdayPaper.com.au, TheWednesdayPaper.com.au, TheThursdayPaper.com.au, TheFridayPaper.com.au and TheSundayPaper.com.au. These may just be for the protection of the brand, or to leave room for expansion should The Saturday Paper be a success.

Furthermore, the domain TheSaturdayWeekly.com.au was registered on June 20 last year by ‘The Monthly’, the name of another Schwartz Media publication.

And finally, the domain TheWeekendPaper.com.au was registered by ‘Media Might Pty Ltd’, although no date is given for when this domain was registered.

The contact associated with this final domain, and therefore presumably linked to ‘Media Might Pty Ltd’, is the email of Sydney businessman George Bancs.

According to an online profile, Bancs is director of a number of companies, including the other trade mark registrant ‘Billion Group’. His Twitter profile states that he is interested in “early stage startups”.

An online search appears to find no obvious current connection between Bancs and Schwartz Media, so it is unclear whether the trade marks and TheWeekendPaper.com.au domain are associated with the publisher of The Saturday Paper or not.

UPDATE

The Weekend Paper

22 April 2014: ‘Media Might Pty Ltd’ and ‘Billion Group Pty Ltd’ have lodged more trade marks in recent weeks, this time for the logo of each of the nine terms listed above.

All the logos are in the style of the one pictured above, and the trade marks were all lodged on April 13.

The trade marks all cover exactly one class, “Class 16: Newspapers”, and are at the status of ‘Indexing Approved’, meaning they have not been seen by an IP examiner yet.

Click here to view a screenshot of two of Media Might and Billion Group’s new trade marks for ‘The Monday Paper‘ and ‘The Weekend Paper‘.

Photo source: Facebook
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Space tourism is “the next frontier” for the travel industry, says founder of Spacebookings.com

spacebookingA Sydney-based entrepreneur is aiming for the stars with his new start-up, Spacebookings.com, and talks to ™Watch about how he envisions space tourism as “the next frontier in the travel sector”.

Ian Cumming is a prolific and well-regarded founder of several travel start-ups including TravellrGetFlight and Travel Massive, and planted the seeds for his new business by lodging a trade mark for the Spacebookings.com logo (pictured) in June this year.

“It isn’t just ‘space nerds’ who are interested in space tourism, as it may have been years ago, but it is now a reality and a vast mainstream audience awaits the chance to jet into the stratosphere – it’s not a question of if, but when,” he says.

Two advisers helping with the project are UK-based SkyScanner co-founder, Barry Smith, and US-based aviation and travel industry expert, Timothy O’Neil-Dunne, who was also a founding team member of Expedia.

Cumming works primarily at co-working space Fishburners in central Sydney with another start-up entrepreneur and fellow Spacebookings.com co-founder, Kevin Lippy.

“Kevin and I have an extensive background in online travel,” Cumming explains. “And together we are starting a service from scratch, in an industry that is at its very dawn – so we really need to work on building an audience, understanding them and then continuing to engage them as the industry grows.”

The project is self-funded so far, and Cumming confirms that “we’re less interested in funding than getting our strategy right”.

“Figures like Richard Branson, with Virgin Galactic, and Jeff Bezos, with Blue Origin, are forward-thinkers of our time who are already looking into the sky and making this a reality – and we share their vision.”

The Spacebookings.com website is currently a portal to join a mailing list, and the message on the site reads:

The exclusivity of space travel is so reserved that we think of it as being something only NASA astronauts and the elite and affluent can afford. However what you may not realize is that Space Travel will almost certainly reach a point where it is affordable for everyday private citizens, and we believe we will reach that point within the next decade.

The first aim for the website, Cumming says, is to be “the authoritative source for space tourism information”, with a proposed launch date of before the end of 2013.

“We have found it very difficult to find accurate and extensive information about space travel – not astronomy or space, but specifically space tourism,” he adds. “So we want to launch the site with extensive space tourism content, and then create and build a community around that.”

That community-building strategy is starting off well, with the Facebook page already at 1,600 followers.

spacebookings

Beyond that initial phase, a large-scale digital booking platform for the space tourism industry is in the works, although Cumming says “it isn’t about just jetting into space in a rocket”.

“You have to plan getting to the space ports around the globe, and then spending up to three-days training for the flight, so you’ll need somewhere to stay for that.

“Customers who book to go into space in the next five years are, let’s face it, very rich,” he adds. “They want a premium service to and from their front door, not just the time they spend above our planet.”

The plan isn’t for Spacebookings.com to be a separate entity from the broader online travel eco-system, but to ‘see how it can fit in with the bigger players like Expedia’.

“There is currently an online travel eco-system for all types of travel – from airlines and booking cars to hotels and excursions,” Cumming says. “One of our aims is to see how space tourism can plug into the current online tourism architecture.”

Ultimately, he concludes, the hope is that Spacebookings.com will be the leading space tourism platform when the inevitable growth happens – for example, Virgin Galactic announced this week that commercial space flights will begin next year.

“China and Russia are the high growth areas in online travel today, but space travel will be the high growth area of the future – and we want to be a big part of that when it happens.”

Aussie entrepreneur aims for the stars with newly lodged trade mark

spacebookingThe Sydney-based founder of various Australian travel start-ups has lodged a new trade mark application for what appears to be a sub-orbital travel website, Spacebookings.com.

Ian Cumming, who founded sites including Travellr, GetFlight and Travel Massive, purchased the Spacebookings.com domain on May 21, and lodged the trade mark application for the logo (pictured) on June 4.

The trade mark application – TM number 1560913 – is lodged under class 39, specifically covering “booking of tickets for travel, provision of travel information, travel reservation”. It is currently at the status of ‘Indexing Approved’.

The Spacebookings.com website went online today, and claims:

The exclusivity of space travel is so reserved that we think of it as being something only NASA astronauts and the elite and affluent can afford. However what you may not realize is that Space Travel will almost certainly reach a point where it is affordable for everyday private citizens, and we believe we will reach that point within the next decade.

SpaceBookings.com’s mission is to be an information and booking service for adventurous travelers who want to experience travel out of this world.

It currently only allows users to join a mailing list, and also states:

SpaceBookings.com’s initial focus will be to provide up to date information around sub-orbital adventures. We can’t wait to bring you developments in orbital space tourism in due time also.

Cumming told ™Watch that the Spacebookings.com business “is collaborating with some really interesting people”, and hoped the website would launch properly “in the next three months”.

The site could compete with the similarly-named Spaceflightbooking.com. The website of Virgin Galactic also has a booking page for its own future space flights.

Residing in Sydney, Cumming is a well-known Australian entrepreneur of online travel start-ups, and lists the various companies he has founded on his personal website.

These include Australia’s first map-based airfare website GetFlight (which closed a month ago), the world’s largest travel industry meeting site Travel Massive and travel Q&A service Travellr.

He describes himself as being “on a journey to create scalable online companies that do things better”, and says that he “collaborates with people around the world in the fields of travel & tourism, web technology, and building connected communities”.

™Watch will have an update on the plans for Spacebookings.com later in the week.

Click to view a screenshot of the Spacebookings.com trade mark application.

Jared Leto plunges down the rabbit hole with new Aussie trade mark

wonderlandActor and musician Jared Leto lodged an Australian trade mark application yesterday for his VIP ticket booking start-up, Adventures In Wonderland.

The service “provides fully-customizable fan packages” for music gigs and events, according to the website, and was formerly known as “The Only And Only Golden Ticket”. It was founded and is owned by Leto, who is lead singer of the band Thirty Seconds To Mars and starred in movies including Requiem For A Dream and Fight Club.

The trade mark application – TM number 1563607 – was lodged on June 19 by Jared Leto and an Australian legal representative, Davies Collison Cave.

It is specifically for the term ‘ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND’, and covers four classes of various ticket sales, entertainment and souvenir goods and services, namely:

Class: 16 Posters, stickers, decals, photographs, tour guides, books, photo books, art books, art prints, art pictures, note cards, greeting cards, postcards, calendars, stationery, paper and printed goods

Class: 25 Clothing, tops, bottoms, shirts, pants, headwear, footwear, sweatshirts, underwear, coats, jackets, vests, belts

Class: 35 Promoting and managing ticket sales and VIP privileges for the entertainment events of others; promoting and managing ticket sales and VIP privileges for concerts, festivals and other entertainment events; advertising and marketing services; promoting the goods and services of others; creating and promoting promotional packages of fan merchandise for bands, festivals and others in the field of entertainment; business services

Class: 41 Entertainment services, namely, arranging ticket reservations, VIP and fan experiences in the field of entertainment; entertainment services in the nature of personalized VIP and fan experiences at concerts, festivals and other entertainment events; entertainment ticket agency services; arranging personal appearances by persons working in the field of music, film, television, entertainment or sport; providing a website that allows users to download music, music videos and musical performances; entertainment services, namely, providing non-downloadable music and music videos, information in the field of music, and commentary and articles about music, all on-line via a global computer network; photography services; music publishing services; providing an Internet website portal in the field of music; entertainment services; online services

Adventures In Wonderland is based in Los Angeles, but already sells packages for shows in Australia (example).

The trade mark application is currently at the status of ‘Indexing Approved’.

Click to view a screenshot of Jared Leto’s Adventures In Wonderland trade mark application.