Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited have filed a number of trade marks which have now been accepted for the Toyota “Jump”.
Many readers will be aware from Toyota’s Australian television advertisements where at the end of the advertisement, actors jump into the air and there is a “freeze frame” at the end of the advertisement. This “jump” is usually accompanied by the now trademarked catchphrase “Oh, What A Feeling” and/or a jingle.
Presumably Toyota believe this “jump” element constitutes a trademark and have therefore filed (and recently had accepted) a number of different “jump” trademarks in respect of motor vehicles. It seems most of the trademarks proceeded to acceptance without an adverse examination report issuing. A number of the marks are simply images – which are registrable since the trademarks are arguably adapted to distinguish in respect of motor vehicles. Trademark application number 1472463 is actually a movement mark and includes the following endorsement:
The trade mark is a movement mark as shown in the representation attached to the application form. It consists of as boy leaping into the air from a standing start extending his arms and legs out to sides at the same time while in mid air and forming a star shape. The image attached to the application form is a still of a scene from the video clip. The trade mark does not include words or sound.
Movement marks are now deemeed acceptable by the Australian Trademarks Office.
In 2007, this issue of Jetstar misrepresenting the Toyota jump in their advertisements was raised and there was a suggestion by Toyota spokesman Peter Evans of whether or not the Jetstar jump was too close to their jump (reported here) although ultimately, no action was taken.
At the time, the only remedies available to Toyota would have been the common law tort of passing off and/or the Trade Practices Act (now known as the Australian Consumer Law). However, it seems Toyota will now have a further weapon in their arsenal to take action against infringing “jumps”, namely trade mark registrations.
But of course, there is then the vexed question of what sort of “jump” would constitute trademark infringement? We will leave that question for another day.
It is interesting to note that a Apple, Inc had a similar advertising campaign using “jumps” and silhouettes:
A number of the Toyota trademarks are reproduced below. The deadline for opposing most of the trademarks is mid Novemeber 2012: