by Mark Wicks
The topic of Karting Australia filing a class-41 trademark application for “Australian Kart Masters” reared it’s head again on social media last week.
It begs a couple of questions:
- Why does an association tasked with the job of promoting and administering go kart racing, wish to trademark an event?
- Why is the Address For Service listed as a private company belonging to the association’s CEO?
A quick search on the Government’s IP Australia website reveals Karting Australia (Australian Karting Association Ltd) has various class trademarks on it’s own name and logo.
It’s also got active trademarks on the state & territory associations, the Australian Kart Championship, KARM (KA’s risk management program), Club Driver Ranking, Ultimate Club Racer and Kartsport Australia.
An application was lodged for 4SS in December 2018 but it is yet to be examined. KA applied to trademark Junior Sprockets in 2015. The status is currently listed as lapsed, not accepted. Likewise, the old AKA logo is no longer registered.
KA has various trademarks “awaiting examination” that were filed in November 2018. These include all seven State Kart Championships plus two specific events – NSW Young Guns and Australian Kart Masters.
So, why all this trademarking?
It’s prudent business practice according to KA’s Chief Operating Officer, Lee Hanatschek.
“In the simplest of terms, it’s all about protecting Karting Australia’s intellectual property” Hanatschek told KartSportNews.
“Our intellectual properties include numerous items such as various logos that are registered as trademarks, business names, URLs that we either currently use or have plans to use in the future.
“The logos of Karting Australia and our affiliated States, Australian Kart Championship, State Kart Championships, Club Driver Rankings, Ultimate Club Racer, 4SS and other marks that cover various Karting Australia events and programs are all examples of registered or pending trademarks.
“We also own the copyright over our Rules, Regulations, Forms and policies amongst other things” he added. “They too need to be protected for the benefit of the sport and the company.”
But why has KA applied to have Australian Kart Masters trademarked?
“The Australian Kart Masters name is a copyright of Karting Australia” Hanatschek explained.
“It came about at our instigation when the event formerly known as the Coffs Harbour Over 40s was elevated to National Cup Status by Karting Australia in 2018. The Trademark is pending.”
Performance Management and Marketing Pty Ltd is Kelvin O’Reilly’s private company.
It is listed for KA’s trademarks as the ‘address for service’. This set off alarm bells for many; why does correspondence not go directly to Karting Australia, the owner of these trademarks?
Again, Hanatschek – “It is simply a case of ease and convenience with the
business (O’Reilly’s) already having an account set up with the IP Registry (from) when the first trademark for Karting Australia was set up. It ensures all correspondence goes to Kelvin O’Reilly.
“The owner of the trademark is Australian Karting Association Ltd.”