Townsville-based animal abusers Jacquelyn Hasking and Daniel Bamblett have failed in their attempt to register a bootleg copy of the Snakeman's HANDS ON trademark.
Media release dated 29 June 2018
Snakeman Raymond Hoser, has fought off an attack from a pair of Townsville based animal abusers seeking to trade on his good name.
A few years back, Snakeman Raymond Hoser, told two Townsville based animal two abusers, Jacquelyn Hasking and Daniel Bamblett to stop trading under his registered trademark “hands on” for wildlife shows and venomous snake handler courses.
The Snakeman established the “hands on” brand more than a decade back, as both a descriptor and a badge of origin for his wildlife displays. In VCAT (court) proceedings that ran from 2006 to 2008, all other players in the wildlife display business from across Australia gave sworn evidence against Hoser’s hands on wildlife shows, either directly or by proxy and made it clear that no one else other than the Snakeman's business allowed people to "hold the animals" at their wildlife displays.
Media reports at the time demonized the Raymond Hoser displays, but the Snakeman was not moved by any of this. The public liked the “hands on” brand and most school teachers thought it was superior to all other shows on offer.
Hoser then acquired the “hands on” trademark, registered with the Australian government. It is significant that no one else sought to challenge the registration and this was because everyone else in the wildlife business opposed the use of the words "hands on" to describe their businesses as all were literally “hands off”.
However because the Hoser brands became the most sought after across Australia, other traders started to use the Hoser trademarks online in order to illegally divert Hoser’s customers to their unsafe businesses.
One such pair was two animal two abusers, Jacquelyn Hasking and Daniel Bamblett. Their displays and reptile courses are in fact “hands off” and they even advocate the illegal use of barbaric metal tongs to handle (and kill) snakes!
As a result of their animal abusing activities, it was inevitable that when Hoser became aware of their illegal use of his registered trademarks to divert his clients to them, he would send them a formal cease and desist letter.
The pair of lawbreakers continued to use the Hoser trademarks, in particular the words “hands on” and Hoser even had to go to Twitter to close down a bootleg account run by the pair.
Following the formal “cease and desist” request, Jacquelyn Hasking and Daniel Bamblett applied to register the words “hands on wildlife” as a trademark with IP Australia (application number: 1476141).
That was in 2012.
Because the Snakeman Raymond Hoser already owned a number of “hands on” registered trademarks for wildlife displays, the application by Jacquelyn Hasking and Daniel Bamblett was quite properly refused by IP Australia.
In 2017, The Snakeman sued an associate of the pair, Michael Alexander and a coinfringer, Bunnings Limited, for trademark infringement. Jacquelyn Hasking, Daniel Bamblett and several others joined Alexander in an unsuccessful attempt to strike out all of the Snakeman’s registered trademarks. At the end of the case, the trademark infringers were forced as a group to pay the Snakeman tens of thousands of dollars in damages, publish corrective advertising and not to use or infringe the intellectual property of the Snakeman again, or get others to do so.
The cohort of lawbreakers also had to pay the legal costs of themselves and Hoser, leading Michael Alexander to set up an illegal Gofundme account to raise money to pay his own legal bills.
Michael Alexander also continued to infringe and as of May 2018 is back in the Federal Court charged with breaching court orders, his own signed undertakings of August 2017 and yet further registered trademarks infringement.
Meanwhile Jacquelyn Hasking and Daniel Bamblett reapplied for a “Hands on” trademark for wildlife shows (application number: 1826595), using a different class of goods and services to that which the Snakeman’s trademarks were registered and made the application as a logo, so as to deliberately avoid tripping up a red flag at IP Australia.
The trademark was inadvertently approved for registration in spite of it conflicting with others on the register. However the Snakeman was aware of the likelihood of such actions by the infringers and immediately commenced opposition proceedings against the infringers.
In spite of hiring gun trademark lawyers to run their application and opposition, Jacquelyn Hasking and Daniel Bamblett lost the case and their trademark application was stopped on 14 June 2018.
The Snakeman is now chasing his legal costs of defending his brand against the infringers.
IP Australia is considering how much costs to award in favour of the Snakeman against the infringers.
The infringers had been aggressively marketing their potentially unsafe services online as "hands on wildlife", but as a result of the trio of legal cases going against them, they will now have to call themselves "interactive wildlife" or another alternative name, or face the inevitable likelihood of being sued for damages arising from ongoing trademark infringement using the Snakeman's "hands on" brands for wildlife shows.
Today Raymond Hoser said “Our dedicated team have an established reputation as being global leaders in wildlife conservation and hands on wildlife shows. We will not allow our clients and those seeking our services to be diverted to unsafe animal abusing trademark infringers who refuse to comply with the laws of the land.”
Hoser has successfully fought off trademark challengers and infringers many times and in the recent past got significant cash payouts from infringers in no less than four separate court cases. The profits raised via his reptile shows and damages payouts are used for critically important wildlife conservation and research projects.
This includes the cataloguing of global biodiversity.
Snakeman Raymond Hoser is the world’s foremost reptile expert, having authored nine major books including the definitive works Australian Reptiles and Frogs and Endangered Animals of Australiaas well as hundreds of significant scientific papers.
He is a regular on TV documentaries and news bulletins as the recognized expert on reptiles.
He has also discovered and named hundreds of species of reptile worldwide, including over 100 in Australia, and in total named more than anyone else born in the last 150 years, and by a significant margin.
He is also a world leader in breeding rare and threatened species of wildlife. In a world first, he developed a successful method of artificial insemination for use in snakes and lizards that has since been used to recue dozens of species from the brink of extinction.
The Snakeman has repeatedly said he does not like to fight animal abusers and trademark infringers through the courts to stop them, as this diverts himself and his dedicated team away from their critically important wildlife conservation work. However as a last resort Hoser can and will fight to protect the safety and welfare of both his clients and wildlife in general.
Further Information at http://www.snakeman.com.au
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