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| 1 minute read

No Royal privilege for trade marks

I've noticed there's always media interest when trade marks are connected with famous people - particularly the Royals. I didn't know this, but King Charles attended an Australian grammar school for two terms back in the 1960s, and the location was a near a place called Mount Timbertop. 

Fast forward some 60+ years, and the school had some registrations, including for TIMBERTOP, but more recently filed for TIMBERTOT. Whilst the school understandably loved the idea of ‘tots’ progressing through the school to the ‘top’ of the school - and you can understand why, as it's lovely branding - TIMBERTOT was already registered by another educational establishment, so they couldn't get their application registered for their core ‘educational’ services. They tried to argue that their reputation in TIMBERTOP should extend to TIMBERTOT - but were, of course, unsuccessful. 

It will be interesting to see whether or not the desire for this branding goes a different way now and they seek consent or to invalidate or acquire the blocking registrations, or find some other name for their ‘tots’.  

Full details of the decision can be found below - I look forward to reading more commentary on this case from Australian attorneys!

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It is envisaged that students commence at the School as a ‘Timbertot”, and then continue their Geelong Grammar School education to become a Timbertop student. The Applicant believes that the ‘significant and notable reputation in ‘Timbertop’ for over 70 years will extend to its use of ‘Timbertot’ as a family of related trade marks.


brands & trade marks, yes