Snakebuster (Raymond Hoser) – Trademark misuse by Prospero Pty Ltd and Anor.

Dear all,

Some of you would be aware of a series of legal battles involving my trademarks Snakebuster and snakebusters.

However not all would be aware of the details of the cases or the final outcomes.

I/we am pleased to report that this week, the battle was finally resolved with myself winning all court actions and related matters.

I have owned the trademarks for many years and two have been registered for some time.  The trademarks are also authorized for use by the company Kotabi, of which I am owner and director.

Recently a West Australian Film company, Prospero, (Owned by Ed Punchard and Julia Redwood) saw the value of my intellectual property and decided to misuse it for their own commercial advantage.  This they did essentially by bootlegging my research and articles as a basis for a series of documentaries, featuring a nobody in the herp community, by the name of Bruce George.

To facilitate their “ambush”, they sued for the cancellation of my existing trademarks and also to prevent a third and related trademark from being registered.  The third mark related to merchandise and not the snake catching or TV matters, both marks of which I owned and had registered at the materially relevant dates.

All the legal actions by Prospero to cancel the existing trademarks failed.

This didn’t stop the company from illegally making and screening a series of poor quality films on cable TV, in contravention of the trademark rights.  They obtained several million dollars in the process of misusing the trademark and on the basis of it’s prior good name.

This caused substantial damage to my good name and commercial damages as well and as a result, late last year, the company and associated TV networks agreed to pay a sizeable amount of damages to myself.  This amount is unfortunately confidential.

The damages resulted from a settlement in legal proceedings we commenced against the company and related entities and followed on from a series of failed actions by them against myself.

Reports made at the time (end 2005) by associated entities that my side had lost the case at end 2005 were false.  However, due to the fact that the payout amount to us was “confidential” and due to the fact that there was a 28 day window for Prospero to pay us, we chose not to respond to the false reports at the time, so as not to jeopardize the money being paid to our account.

We can now however report that Prospero paid us damages, which in any plain language means we won the case.

We also report the following facts to correct misinformation on the internet:

1 – During proceedings a judge published a ruling that asserted that the Hoser trademarks had been violated and that Propsero and Bruce George had defamed Hoser by masquerading as him in a callous manner on the TV shows in matters that clearly related to Hoser’s intellectual property.

2 – Prospero claimed in sworn evidence via an affidavit, that they were effectively bankrupt leaving our side with the prospect of obtaining a multi-million dollar judgment against the company but with no effective means of recovery, noting they claimed at one stage to have only about $300 in the bank.

3 – As a result of “2”, we had no effective alternative but to accept the far smaller amount of cash offered by Prospero early on in the end 2005 proceedings so as to avoid incurring further legal costs that also may never have been recoverable.  The amount of money paid is confidential, but was sufficient to cover the substantial Hoser legal costs (Many thousands of dollars and obviously vastly superior to the previous amount claimed by Prospero).  The money paid by Prospero also gave some money to Hoser in compensation for damage to his good name.

4 – Contrary to an assertion on a wesbite controlled by one of Punchard’s associates, there was no judgment made against Hoser.  All legal findings in all matters relating to Prospero, Hoser and the trademarks have been in Hoser’s favor, with Hoser retaining all three trademarks (see below). 

5 - Contrary to an assertion on a website, there was no testimony from a West Australian snake handler Brian Bush via videolink and hence it could not have played any role in the proceedings.  Bush had no materially relevant evidence to give in the first instance and the proceedings were resolved via Prospero’s offer of cash before Bush was called to give evidence.

6 – Due to the fact that Prospero had about 28 days to pay money to the Hoser lawyers, we chose not to publish anything on the matter until after the money had been received and banked.

7 – The proceedings by Prospero against the registering of the third trademark 963988 for snakebuster merchandise finally failed in May 2006, whereupon it was registered to the backdated date of 2003.  We chose to await the closure of this final chapter of the proceedings by Prospero before publishing this communication asserting total ownership of the snakebusters trademarks.

8 – Throughout the legal proceedings and until the point of conclusion, Prospero asserted that Raymond Hoser had no legal claim on the trademark Snakebuster and snakebusters.  This position has now been shown to be in error.

9 – Separate to Prospero, the TV networks that illegally aired the Prospero shows “snakebuster” admitted liability and stated that they would not re-screen the programs. 

10 - Separate to Prospero, the TV networks that illegally aired the Prospero shows “snakebuster” paid Hoser and his lawyers damages that covered all legal bills and some compensation to Hoser.

11 - Separate to Prospero, the TV networks that illegally aired the Prospero shows “snakebuster” asked Hoser to produce a more professional reptile program for them.  This offer is being considered within other pressing time constraints.

12 – As a result of these proceedings and their conclusion and the retention of all trademarks in the Hoser name(namely 912066 – snakebusters, 963988 – snakebuster, 964068 – snakebuster), the following points should be noted:

A – Raymond Hoser is the snakebuster.  No one else can claim or use the name without written authorization from the trademark owner.

B – Any unlawful use of the trademark names snakebuster, snakebusters or anything deceptively similar may result in legal proceedings against those who breach the trademark rights.

C – “A” and “B” apply to persons, entities and the like and use in any other countries signatory to the Madrid Protocol.

D – Raymond Hoser, his company and authorized persons reserve all rights in regards to the trademarks and may take action against any person or entity who misuse his trademarks or do anything else to interfere with or damage the intellectual property.

13 – This communication should be disseminated as widely as possible, including on internet websites and printed publications, including major reptile related websites and print publications.

DATED 22 MAY 2006

 

 

 

 

 

http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/atmoss/Falcon_History.Summary_Page?p_tm_number=963988&p_search_no=1&p_detail=DETAILED&p_extdisp=D

 

Trade Mark History: 963988

 

 

25-MAY-2006

Trade Marks Registered

Advert

18-MAY-2006

Opposition Discontinued with Regn Proceeding

Advert

15-MAY-2006

Register Trade Mark

Update

11-MAY-2006

Opposition Withdrawn

Update

10-MAY-2006

Withdrawal of Opposition

Correspondence

10-MAY-2006

Withdrawal of Opposition

Correspondence

08-MAY-2006

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

31-AUG-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

22-AUG-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

22-AUG-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

22-AUG-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

22-AUG-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

19-AUG-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

15-AUG-2005

Stat Dec.

Correspondence

15-AUG-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

06-JUL-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

04-JUL-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

04-JUL-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

28-JUN-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

27-JUN-2005

Declaration

Correspondence

27-JUN-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

11-MAY-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

26-APR-2005

Furth. Evidence

Correspondence

20-APR-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

13-APR-2005

Declaration

Correspondence

13-APR-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

13-APR-2005

Furth. Evidence

Correspondence

05-APR-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

05-APR-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

01-APR-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

24-MAR-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

10-MAR-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

24-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

21-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

15-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

10-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

08-FEB-2005

Hearing Fee

Correspondence

07-FEB-2005

Hearing Fee

Correspondence

07-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

07-FEB-2005

Request Hearing

Correspondence

07-FEB-2005

Declaration

Correspondence

07-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

04-FEB-2005

Hearing Fee

Correspondence

04-FEB-2005

Declaration

Correspondence

04-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

03-FEB-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

14-JAN-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

12-JAN-2005

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

24-DEC-2004

Declaration

Correspondence

24-DEC-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

21-OCT-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

13-OCT-2004

Declaration

Correspondence

13-OCT-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

10-AUG-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

26-JUL-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

22-JUL-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

20-JUL-2004

Stat Dec.

Correspondence

20-JUL-2004

Extension Opp.

Correspondence

04-MAY-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

03-MAY-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

27-APR-2004

Extension Opp.

Correspondence

18-MAR-2004

Notice of Opposition Lodged

Advert

01-MAR-2004

Suspend for Opposition

Update

26-FEB-2004

Opposition Correspondence

Correspondence

23-FEB-2004

Notice of Opp.

Correspondence

04-DEC-2003

Accepted Applications for Registration of Trade Mark

Advert

04-DEC-2003

Accepted Applications for Registration of Trade Mark

Advert

25-NOV-2003

Sealing fee (single class)

Correspondence

14-NOV-2003

Amend Status from Awaiting Advertisement

Update

10-SEP-2003

Clear Report - Approved

Report No. 2

10-SEP-2003

Clear Examination report approved

Update

09-SEP-2003

Class 9 Goods and Services

Update

08-SEP-2003

Exam Response

Correspondence

01-SEP-2003

Exam Response

Correspondence

28-AUG-2003

Adverse Report - Approved

Report No. 1

28-AUG-2003

Amend Status from Taken for Examination

Update

28-AUG-2003

Acceptance date

Update

21-AUG-2003

Applications Filed

Advert

06-AUG-2003

Amend Status from Indexing Approved

Update

06-AUG-2003

Expedition of Application

Update

04-AUG-2003

Amend Status from Indexed

Update

04-AUG-2003

Amend Status from Filed - Approved

Update

04-AUG-2003

Declaration

Correspondence

04-AUG-2003

Expedite

Correspondence

01-AUG-2003

Approve Filing

Update

31-JUL-2003

Filing an Electronic Application for a TM 1 Class

Correspondence

 

 

Non-urgent email inquiries via the Snakebusters bookings page at:
http://www.snakebusters.com.au/sbsboo1.htm

Urgent inquiries phone:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:
(03) 9812 3322 or 0412 777 211