Q1 trade mark application reaches new heights

A recent decision of the Federal Court has held that businesses operating out of well-known buildings can trade mark a business name that includes the name of the building.

Mantra, an accommodation letting company with management and letting rights for the iconic Q1 building on the Gold Coast, has successfully achieved registration of the ‘Q1’ trade mark after appealing a decision by a delegate of the Registrar of Trade Marks. The delegate had held that the name “Q1” could not be registered as it had a geographical connotation and formed “part of the common heritage”. He further held that use of the ‘Q1’ trade mark by Mantra would potentially deceive or confuse the holiday making public.

On appeal, Justice Reeves of the Federal Court found that a building is distinguished from a city, town or suburb and it is not part of the common heritage. He held that while a building name cannot be trade marked for the purposes of the building itself, the name can nonetheless be trade marked for services provided from, or in relation to, the building.

This decision was made on the basis that use of the name ‘Q1’ by Mantra was not descriptive of its services, nor did it have a common or geographical meaning when it was first created. Therefore, it was held that the use of the trade mark ‘Q1’ would not be likely to mislead or deceive the public.

This is a key decision for any businesses operating from well-known buildings, in particular, building managers, hotel owners, and onsite letting agents, wishing to trade mark their business name.

For more information or advice on trade marking a business name, please contact Certus Legal Group.