MH17: ‘Trademark Trolls’ Make Profit Out of the Tragedy

By @AringoYenko on

Various 'trademark trolls' hope to amass money from the MH17 tragedy by having the word 'MH17' trademarked.

'Trademark trolls' are companies or institutions that jump at immediate opportunity to own the full copy rights on terms associated with highly controversial events. In the long run, these trolls could sue or demand payment from whoever used their trademark.

Remit Now International, a company based in Kuala Lumpur but with a post office box at the Australia Fair shopping centre on Queensland's Gold Coast, had submitted an application to the Australian Trade Marks Office, Fairfax Media has found.

Remit filed its application 24 hours after the news of the MH17 crash broke. The trademark applied by the company involves all films, online games, game shows, video games, plays, musicals, magazines and educational texts that will be associated with the tragedy in the future.

Malaysian Airlines had also applied to patent the term "MH17", most probably, to safeguard it from trolls. However, the company filed their application four days after the tragedy happened.

 ''In Australia, the trademark registration system operates to some extent on a "first come first served" basis. This means that presumptively the first to file a trademark application has priority over a subsequently filed application and the Trade Marks Office is likely to raise Remit Now's earlier application as a basis for blocking registration of Malaysia Airlines' application at least to the extent that it covers similar services, such as films, computer games and on-line publishing services," Kliger Partners principal lawyer Daniel Kovacs explained.

Seyfull Investments, another company based in Belize had also filed an application to trademark the term 'MH17'. The trademark, if approved, constitutes the use of the term in conferences, exhibitions and competitions, education and instruction, and entertainment services like television, radio, satellite and the web.

Unfortunately, doubts that the application was made in "poor taste" do not constitute a valid ground to deny the application, Kovacs underlined.

The revelation of the trademark application from these trolls came as memorial for the victims were emotionally being conducted in Melbourne.

The eighteen Victorians who were on board MH17 were remembered through a multi-faith memorial service held at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral.

The memorial was attended by hundreds of people, political figures, some officials who were in Melbourne to attend the World Aids Conference in Melbourne, and Sunbury Lions football club members.

Consul-generals of Malaysia and the Netherlands lit candles for the victims as Victorian Premier Denis Napthine gave a touching memorial piece.

"For those who love, time is eternity. With the stirring of the wind and in the chill of winter, under the blue sky and in the warmth of summer, we will remember them," Napthine said.

Dr Andreas Loewe the Anglican dean of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Cantor Bruce Levin, and Imam Sheikh Moustapha Sarakibi from the Islamic Council of Victoria unite in prayer.

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