Today, the Sydney Morning Herald have reported that OneSteel have announced their new name, Arrium. Yesterday, an enterprising journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald almost gazumped OneSteel’s annoucement by inspecting the Australian Trade Mark register and finding some pending trademark applications in the name of OneSteel.
SMH journalist Leonie Lamont correctly noted in her article on 2 April 2012, that OneSteel had recently filed a trademark for One in a number of classes and understandably speculated that it might be OneSteel’s new name.
What Leonie did not count on was that OneSteel (or most likely their patent attorneys) deliberately filed a trademark for the actual proposed name, ARRIUM in the name of an unrelated entity (DJ & MM Madigan Pty Ltd). This trademark was filed in October 2011.
A whois request on www.arrium.com.au would also not be of assistance since this domain name is also in the name of the unrelated entity.
The above technique is a relatively common (and in this case successful) way to prevent the early leak of a new name or brand.