Qld agency cheers over cricket team’s trademark claim

Professor John Swinson.

Professor John Swinson.Credit:Robert Shakespeare

“Trademarks don’t give you ownership of a word, they just protect what you do — or intend to do — in terms of how you actually use that term,” Swinson said.

“If there is no overlap between two companies and they operate in different fields and consumers are not confused, they can both have the same or a similar brand. That happens often.

“So here you would have to look at the overlap between a Queensland cricket team and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Services.

“It’s hard to see what that overlap would be and why the Government should be concerned about a cricket team that has been playing for 20 years.”

Queensland Cricket’s trademark application specifically outlines various uses of “Queensland Fire”, including use of the name on clothing, sports equipment and in games, among other uses.

“It appears to have nothing to do with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service [sic] does,” Swinson said.

One area where QFES wants to avoid any confusion is in the provision of emergency services where lives are at stake. Finally, Swinson said it wouldn’t be good if people called a cricket team for help if their house was on fire.

“We don’t want people to get confused when lives are at stake, but the Queensland Fire cricket team has been playing for decades so it seems a difficult case when there’s no evidence of actual confusion,” he said he.

But Queensland University of Technology intellectual property expert Professor Matthew Rimmer said QFES may well have a case, as neither “Queensland” nor “fire” are particularly distinctive words.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Queensland Fire and Rescue [sic] are opponents,” he said.

“In a way, there isn’t enough opposition from government agencies or public bodies regarding our IP system.

“There really should be some activity to try and get certain other uses for government use, but certain things could also remain in the public domain.

“Not everything should be the subject of a trademark application.”

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/qld-agency-fires-up-over-cricket-team-s-trademark-claim-20230105-p5cang.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Qld agency cheers over cricket team’s trademark claim

Ryan Sederquist

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