The Federal Court has just issued orders regarding a recent trademark case Telstra initiated against Belong Energy, in regards to Telstra’s own Belong brand.
Belong Energy was founded late last year, claiming, “Our founders alone boast a cumulative 40 years of experience in Australia’s Renewables industry. We strive to find the best solutions for you to save on energy costs and by joining Belong Energy you are preparing for a sustainable, smarter and cleaner world.”
Footscray-based solar power provider Belong Energy was ordered to cancel its registered business name of “belongenergy” and any other business names containing “belong”.
The company was also ordered to transfer the domain names belong.energy and belongenergy.com.au to Telstra, as well as any other domain name containing the word ‘belong’.
Some comments that are appearing on various technology-news sites regarding this verdict appear as follows:
So Telstra think they own any usage of the word “Belong”… nice. I’d better tell my kids not to use that word any more. (Along with their other stupid trademarks like “Thrive” – not that anyone understands what the hell that’s supposed to mean). It becomes more and more obvious why Telstra are circling the drain.
One has to wonder who Telstra will target next?
Will it be the current owners of Belong.org.au?
Or perhaps they’ll go after Belong.net.au next, currently owned by Credit Union Australia LTD?
Maybe Australian’s won’t be allowed to utter the word “Belong” anymore at all, unless we’re discussing Telstra’s own internet brand? Perhaps we will soon have to say, “We are allowed to be here together,” instead of the usually socially acceptable phrase of, “We belong here”.
Which other businesses are about to become targets?
Rugby Australia LTD recently found out the hard way that they weren’t allowed to hijack domain names from owners for free. Perhaps Telstra needs to understand this concept before moving forward and losing their next generic-word “belong” related battle?