“Always Was, Always Will Be” Trademark Attempt Withdrawn

The attempted trademark of the phrase “Always Was, Always Will Be” reportedly failed, but it still remains an affront to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Indigenous-owned and run clothing company Clothing The Gaps recently released an update on the case.

New South Wales resident Christopher Michaelides filed for registration of the sentence on January 26, 2021.

His choice of ‘Australia Day’ to file the claim did not go unnoticed, with the claim becoming widely known to the public in April last year.

Earlier this week, Clothing The Gaps released a statement about this.

“We became aware – and outraged – of this candidacy in April last year. Since then, our trademark attorneys have researched this further and sent us a breakdown of what it means.

“In summary, this trademark application is unlikely to be successful, but it is not enough.

“Some Indigenous expressions belong to our whole community, not to individuals. It is especially shameful when non-Indigenous people try to take over our language, our history and our struggle,” they said.

The request highlighted the continuing problem of cultural appropriation and non-Indigenous use of Indigenous community symbols and expressions for commercial purposes.

In 2019, Clothing The Gaps was threatened with legal action over its use of the Aboriginal flag on clothing, after WAM Clothing was granted exclusive rights to its use by flag designer Luritjaman Harold Thomas.

The social enterprise then launched the ‘Free the Flag’ campaign which gained momentum the following year when the AFL was unable to reach an agreement with the holder of the exclusive rights to the flag as part of of his Aboriginal tour.

Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt told the National Indigenous Times in December that negotiations with Mr Thomas and the flag holders were “continuing” and that the government was not considering compulsory acquisition of the rights to the flag. flag.

By Giovanni Torre

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