News

Mate! That's not a fair go, says Aussie trademark holder

Trent Lecky, owner of the trademark Mate Australia.
Trent Lecky, owner of the trademark Mate Australia. Brett Wortman

A SUNSHINE Coast entrepreneur who bought the trademark for the word "mate" four years ago might have to take on a business giant after it used the word on a stubbie holder, then refused his call for a fair go.

Bli Bli's Trent Lecky bought the trademark, which gave him protected right to use the word "mate" for a decade.

The former truck driver invested his time and money, producing associated products - including a stubbie holder - around the name.

About two months ago he discovered cosmetic giant Natio had brought out a Christmas range of packaged stubbie holders labelled "Mate".

The stubbie holder comes with a Natio face moisturiser and is being sold in chemists, Myers and chain stores across the country.

Mr Lecky wrote to Natio on November 16, informing it of the copyright infringement.

He received a letter a Natio solicitor - Robert Kelson - saying the stubbie holder was "merely a promotional give-away item".

"There is no charge for it," Mr Kelson wrote.

"There is no trade in the stubbie holder. Consequently, the term 'mate' is not used as a trademark for the stubbie holder or the outer packaging but as a trademark for the face moisturiser, if it is used as a trademark at all.

"Your allegations of trademark infringement are denied."

However, Mr Kelson wrote that "in the interests of good commercial relations", Natio would cease application once stock sold out.

Mr Lecky has received his own legal advice, which suggests Natio selling a product clearly labelled as "mate" infringes his trademark.

But he said it would cost about $15,000 to fight it in the courts.

The former Sunshine Coast truck driver is frustrated his attempts to build up his business are being thwarted by a big business that does not seem to care.

"There are still going to be Mate-branded coolers that are not from my company out in the marketplace," he said.

The Daily tried contacting Natio, through Mr Kelson. However, he had not responded yesterday.

Topics:  editors picks, mate, trademark



Saving green spaces

ECO WARRIORS: Nicole McLachlan, Andrew Cairncross and Oliver McLachlan plan to protect the land.

A Fingal environmental group need your help.

Tyalgum kicks off musical season

Flutterbies' Solar Chapel and operatic soprano Jenna Dearness-Dark prepare for the Opera and Piano concert in Tyalgum on September 3.

Intimate concert awaits.

Tweed meth driver gets 15 months jail

NSW Police Media Highway Patrol

A SERIAL offender has been slapped with 15 months jail time.

Latest deals and offers

Tyalgum kicks off musical season

Flutterbies' Solar Chapel and operatic soprano Jenna Dearness-Dark prepare for the Opera and Piano concert in Tyalgum on September 3.

Intimate concert awaits.

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m