The plaintiff has re-filed in the NSW Supreme Court, once again alleging damages of around $43M in lost film revenues for alleged defamatory statements made by participants on the ZGeek discussion forum.

It now appears that the plaintiff has additionally filed a trade mark application over the name ZGeek and threatened the forum operators with a trade mark infringement action - despite apparently having no legal interest in the mark.

We continue to follow this case closely. The ZGeek operators are soliciting donations in their ongoing legal struggle. Alternatively, if you are a qualified NSW legal practitioner and have the capacity to help out in the pending defamation litigation at a discounted or pro-bono rate, please contact me for more information.

6 comments

  1. That just seems surreal. Is there any protection against people registering frivolous trademarks like that?

    Comment by trog on 8 August 2009 at 1:28 am
    • Yes there is, and filing hostile trademarks against an opponent to try and steal their name can get you in criminal trouble. and that includes registering an oponents UNREGISTERED trademark just to be a bastard.

      Its highly likely the lawyer that filed the trademark didn't know the full story, or he himself is probably in even bigger trouble.

      For instance if I registered "Electronic frontiers australia" for the sole purpose of suing EFA, the judge would very likely put my ass in jail for IP fraud.

      Note: Not a lawyer! I just remember reading that law somewhere when some nutter tried to do this very same thing to me. A nice menacing "Back the f**** off, but first read the penalties associated with THIS law" letter made him back down AND caused the guy to settle the original dispute with me.

      Comment by Shayne on 24 January 2011 at 12:27 pm
  2. Actually, almost complete protection. Prior continuous use is a defence to infringement, and an argument against registration. Then there's a prohibition on issuing groundless threats on top of that. Registering a trademark in bad faith is absolutely not a strategy that I would ever recommend, and one that is rarely followed for good reason.

    Comment by Nic on 8 August 2009 at 1:39 am
  3. So can we assume that this idiocy will eventually end up with what, both parties wasting money on lawyers?

    Damn those laywers!

    Comment by Starmonkey on 10 October 2009 at 6:07 pm
  4. And lawyers, too.

    Comment by Starmonkey on 10 October 2009 at 6:07 pm
  5. unfortunately australias trademark system is flawed as you can apply to register a frivolous trademark for $150 and the owner must spend $150 to dispute the filing - disputing should be free. hence the zgeek crew must spend more money.

    Comment by big al on 9 November 2009 at 8:12 am