The 'Mabo' design at the centre of the copyright debate The 'Mabo' design at the centre of the copyright debate smh
Sunday, 29 December 2013 16:08

Mambo v Mabo: What's in a name?

The late Eddie Mabo's son is surprised by surf-wear brand Mambo's opposition to an attempt to trademark his famous surname for an indigenous clothing company.



Mambo Graphics Ltd have opposed Palm Island artist Malcolm Mabo's application to trademark the "Mabo" name on the basis it is "deceptively similar" to their own trademark.


The surf-wear brand's trademark attorney James Maxwell, of Peter Maxwell and Associates, said the company was concerned by the similarity in spelling between the two words and the inclusion of beachwear and surfwear in Mr Mabo's application.


The Mabo trademark, lodged with IP Australia in June last year, features a feathered Torres Strait headdress around a shark jaw with the brand name in the middle.


Mr Mabo himself said he was surprised by Mambo's objection to the trademark because he believed it was easily distinguishable from their logo.


Defending his right to trademark his own name, he said he believed another company had a better case to oppose it on the basis of the spelling.


"It was only the name that they were concerned about but the design with the name in it is completely different to what they've got," he said.


"I would have thought Mako the sunglass brand would have objected to it because that is only one letter. But they haven't."


Playing down the matter, Mambo managing director Angus Kingsmill said the company knew very little about Mr Mabo's company until reading a report in The Australian this morning.

Read more on Sydney Morning Herald
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