The licensing arm of the estate of Ernest Hemingway have prevented registration of a trademark appearing to bear his signature in relation to fishing rods.
Twinpeaks Lesiure Pty Ltd applied for the following Australian Trade Mark Application in July 2006:
The mark was filed in class 28 respect of reels for fishing; rods for fishing and was accepted for registration in November 2006 by the Australian Trade Marks Office.
Hemingway, Inc (the estate of Ernest Hemingway) opposed the registration of the mark and have just recently suceeded in having the mark refused. Presumably, Hemingway, Inc were concerned about possible confusion between Australian Trademark Application 1125695 and Ernest Hemingway’s signature:
Reasons for the decision are not yet published, but should be available here in the coming weeks.
In Australia it is possible to trademark a signature where the signature is that of the applicant (or if not the applicant, provided that consent is given by the person concerned for their signature to be used).