‘Hulu’ was officially trade marked in Australia this week

Hulu1After initially registering for an Australian trade mark in July last year, Hulu was accepted and officially entered the trade mark register in Australia this week.

The trade mark protection could be a step closer to the leading US video-streaming service making an entry into the Australian market. The company already owns the Hulu.com.au domain, which currently redirects to Hulu.com, and states on its website that it is “committed to making its content available worldwide” but “must work through a number of legal and business issues” first.

The ‘HULU’ trade mark entered the Australian trade mark register on February 20, and covers everything from video-streaming to calendars.

A summary of the classes covered by the trade mark can be found on the original ™Watch article from July last year.

The application was lodged by the Santa Monica office of ‘Hulu, LLC’ and a Sydney-based legal representative, Davies Collison Cave.

Click to view a screenshot of Hulu’s Australian trade mark.

H/T @aafuss

Harvey Norman lodges Rick Hart trade mark

photo-2Three months after admitting it had lost money on the “damaged” Rick Hart retail brand, Harvey Norman has filed a trade mark suggesting it is planning to use ‘Rick Hart @ Harvey Norman’ branding.

The trade mark, registered on November 20 by Harvey Norman Retailing, is for the term and image (below) of ‘Rick Hart @ Harvey Norman’.

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Harvey Norman acquired the Rick Hart chain of appliance stores in 2010, which founder Gerry Harvey has since called a “mistake” and a company spokesperson has said is a “damaged brand”. Most Rick Hart stores have closed or been rebranded to Harvey Norman.

Businessman Rick Hart, who founded the Rick Hart retail chain in 1975, is now a partner in a new Western Australian appliance business, Kitchen HQ.

The ‘Rick Hart @ Harvey Norman’ trade mark covers over 100 different appliances, household products and gadgets under Class 35. In summary:

Class 35: Retailing, wholesaling, distribution and other services in this class (including online) furniture, electrical appliances, plumbing goods, building goods, hardware, homewares, home improvement goods, computers, gaming consoles, cooking, refrigerating and ventilating, telecommunications and communications goods, home theatre goods, audio goods, video goods, kitchen, bathroom and laundry equipment, ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, showers, baths, garden appliances, electronic all-in- one home control systems, netbooks.

It remains at the status of ‘Indexing Approving’, meaning it has not been seen by an IP examiner yet.

Click to view a screenshot of Harvey Norman’s ‘Rick Hart @ Harvey Norman’ trade mark application.

Telstra files for ‘Halo’ and ‘Mojo’

Telstra WarholTelstra has lodged two Australian trade marks this week for ‘Telstra Halo’ and ‘Telstra Mojo’.

Both trade marks were filed yesterday, 8 October, by Telstra Corporation Limited and a legal representative, Davies Collison Cave.

They are both filed under the same classes, covering a slew of telecommunications, financial, computing and entertainment services. In summary:

Class 9: Telecommunications and communications equipment, apparatus and systems; computer equipment, apparatus and systems; computer hardware; computer software; publications in electronic format

Class 35: Wholesale and retail services; organisation, operation, administration and management of loyalty marketing and other sales and promotional incentives

Class 36: Financial services; banking services; electronic funds transfer services

Class 37: Construction, Installation and repair of telecommunications and/or computer goods

Class 41: Amusement, education, entertainment, training, sporting and cultural services, including these services provided on-line from a computer database or the Internet

Class 42: Computer programming services

Google searches for ‘Telstra Halo‘ and ‘Telstra Mojo‘ bring up zero relevant results.

Both trade marks are at the early status of ‘Filed – Approved’, meaning they have yet to be seen by an IP examiner.

Click to view a screenshot of Telstra’s trade mark applications for ‘Telstra Halo‘ and ‘Telstra Mojo‘.

Telstra goes trade mark mad

telstraTelco giant Telstra has so far lodged 13 trade marks in September, including filing an application and registering an internet domain for a previously unheard of service called ‘Muru-D’.

A majority of the trade marks appear to be for slogans, including ‘SHOW YOU CARE’, ‘BETTER TOGETHER’, ‘MAKE THE COMPLEX SIMPLE’, ‘FIND YOUR COURAGE’, ‘THE NETWORK WITHOUT EQUAL’, ‘SHAPING OUR WORLD AROUND YOU’ and ‘TRUST EACH OTHER TO DELIVER’.

Three of the trade marks are for a service or product called ‘Muru-D’, and Telstra has also registered a domain name (pictured here) at ‘muru-d.com.au‘ (which is currently offline).

One of the Muru-D applications is for a logo (pictured below), another is for the term ‘Muru D’ and a final one is for the term ‘Muru-D’.

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All three of the Muru-D trade mark applications were lodged on September 5.

They all cover a huge number of telecommunications, retail and finance services across six classes. Summarised, they are:

Class 9: Telecommunications and communications equipment, apparatus and systems; telephone cards, debit and credit cards, CD-ROMs; discs and tapes; video and audio equipment, apparatus and systems

Class 35: Business advisory services; business planning and analysis services; business management and business administration services; Wholesale and retail services; advertising services; electronic, wireless and on-line mapping services

Class 36: Financial services; banking services;  electronic funds transfer services; billing services

Class 38: Telecommunication and communication service; transmission of information on a wide range of topics, including on-line transmission; electronic, wireless and on-line mapping services, being the electronic, wireless or on-line transmission of reproductions of street and area maps showing geographic locations including streets, houses and businesses; television broadcasting including pay, free to air and cable

Class 41: Amusement, education, entertainment, training, sporting and cultural services; Services which allows customers to download and listen to music or video on the Internet; publication of information in electronic form

Class 42: Computer programming services; computer software design services; research and development of technology, including research and development in relation to telecommunications goods and services, including directory goods and services in both electronic and non-electronic form; on-line computer services; hosting of websites for others; designing of websites; extraction and retrieval of information and data mining by means of computer networks; website tracking tools

One Muru-D service that is repeated and goes into detail above is ‘online mapping services’.

A reverse Google Image search suggests the logo has not appeared online before. A Google search for the term “Telstra ‘Muru-D’” brings up zero results.

Meanwhile, the seven slogan trade mark applications were lodged between 10 and 18 September, and cover telecommunications classes only.

Three of the Telstra trade marks have only just been filed, and there is no information on what they are for (this post will be updated with that information).

All 13 trade mark applications were filed by Telstra Corporation Limited and a local legal representative, Davies Collison Cave.

Click to view a screenshot of Telstra’s ‘Muru-D’ logo trade mark application and another for the ‘Show You Care’ slogan trade mark application.

UPDATE

October 21: Telstra will open an ‘incubator office’ for start-up businesses in Sydney named ‘muru-D’.

Read about it at The Australian Financial Review.

¡Ay, caramba! Twentieth Century Fox applies for alcoholic Duff Beer

duff1After decades of filing countless lawsuits against unofficial varieties of ‘Duff Beer’, Twentieth Century Fox has finally decided to lodge an Australian trade mark for the fictional beer brand which covers real alcoholic beer.

Made famous as the popular beer consumed on TV show The Simpsons, studio Twentieth Century Fox has always backed away from lodging a trade mark for the brand covering alcoholic beverages. It has also historically reacted fast to any brewery company attempting to produce a real Duff Beer. This steadfast stand seems to be spurred by The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, who has been against producing an alcoholic Duff Beer “because it would encourage kids to drink”.

However, just this month that attitude may have changed, with a new Simpsons theme park in the US starting to serve a real alcoholic Duff Beer. The lodgement of an Australian trade mark could suggest this officially endorsed alcoholic Duff Beer could make its way Down Under some time in the future.

Twentieth Century Fox already holds Australian trade marks for the Duff Beer logo from 1999, covering various souvenir items, such as posters, calendars and drinking glasses. It also held a lapsed Australian trade mark for the Duff Beer logo lodged in the same year, covering non-alcoholic soft drinks.

The new trade mark application for the term ‘Duff Beer’ – TM number 1562201 – was lodged this week, on 12 June, and specifically covers:

Class: 32 Beers and ales; non-alcoholic beers; lagers; stouts and porters

Twentieth Century Fox could be looking to further its protection of the trade mark, rather than produce an alcoholic Duff Beer in Australia.

Just last year, a West Australian liquor wholesaler found itself in legal trouble with Twentieth Century Fox after selling the German imported ‘Legendary Duff Beer’. The studio also fought off Australian beverage and food company Lion Nathan in 1996, when it produced a beer called ‘Duff’ and also lodged (and ultimately withdrew) a trade mark for ‘Duff Beer’ covering alcoholic goods.

There has been many more international attempts to brew a real Duff Beer, most of which are promptly shot down by legal action from Fox.

For example, the German firm ‘Duff Beer UG’ has fought numerous battles to continue selling the previously mentioned ‘Legendary Duff Beer’ across Europe. For instance, it lodged for a European-wide trade mark for ‘Duff Beer’, which was successfully opposed by Twentieth Century Fox. Duff Beer UG is appealing to the European Court Of Justice to get that opposition overturned. Duff Beer UG and a rival German brewery have also spent numerous years in a legal spat to be the sole owner of the Duff trade mark in Germany.

Only three months ago, Chilean police seized 60,000 Duff-branded beer bottles following an intellectual property complaint from, you guessed it, Twentieth Century Fox.

All these legal crackdowns have made unofficial Duff Beer a collector’s item, especially in Australia. For instance, an empty carton for the 1996 Nathan Lion ‘Duff’ beer is currently on eBay Australia for $89, and an empty six-pack of ‘Legendary Duff Beer’ is on eBay Australia for $40.

The new Australian trade mark application was lodged by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and an Australian legal representative, Baker & McKenzie.

Click to view a screenshot of the new alcoholic Duff Beer trade mark application. Also take a look at the lapsed non-alcoholic and the still active souvenir Duff Beer trade mark applications from 1999.