Media release - Friday 15 January 2010
For immediate publication.
Snakeman busts Queensland imposter!
Australian snakeman, Raymond Hoser, has this week forced the deregistering of a newly registered Queensland business using his trademarked business name "Snakebusters".
Hoser's name "Snakebusters" has been used by him for decades and become an established brand name for venomous snake removal and live reptile shows, not just in Australia, but also globally.
As a result, Snakeman Hoser was stunned when he became aware that some newly licenced snake handlers from Cairns had commenced trading using the same name.
Snakeman Raymond Hoser's involvement with Queensland spans decades and includes the discovery of and naming of numerous Queensland species including the dangerously venomous False King Brown Snake (Pailsus pailsi) and East Barkly Death Adder (Acanthophis woolfi) in 1998, and the Northern Rough-scaled Snake (Tropidechis sadlieri) in 2003, found commonly around Cairns and environs.
Newly licensed Cairns snake handler Corey Smits (calling himself "Corey Wild") had registered the business name "Snake Busters" late in 2009 and this week agreed to Hoser's request to deregister the name.
Hoser today said, "The demand was made in a legal letter, and Mr. Smits immediately agreed to use another name for his business. As a result, there is no ongoing animosity or bad will towards him. I wish him all the best in his business ventures."
However Hoser also said "bearing in mind our business Snakebusters are the dominant player in the Australian live reptile show business, and that everyone in the reptile game knows me, I am stunned that anyone else would have the audacity to try to trade under the names I've used for decades".
Hoser's company Snakebusters is alone in Australia in doing shows daily with the world's top five deadliest snakes and widely sought by the biggest major events, shopping malls and schools across Australia. This is because it's the only company dealing with deadly snakes that has a perfect safety record, due to the fact that it is also alone and first in the world with surgically devenomized (venomoid) snakes, that have been in use for several years.
Just this week for example a Bundaberg Reptile park owner was carted off to hospital as a result of a near fatal brown snake bite and such incidents are common with other snake handlers across Australia, including at least 15 other serious snakebite incidents involving licenced snakehandlers in the recent past.
Snakeman Raymond Hoser is not new to having to stop imposters using his trademarks.
Last year he had to stop a newly licenced Gold Coast snake catcher Tony Harrison from bootlegging his trademark "the Snakeman", something Raymond Hoser's been known as for decades.
After initially refusing to stop calling himself "the snakeman", Harrison agreed to stop calling himself "Snakeman", after his legal people agreed that it could damage Hoser's established reputation and his trademark rights.
The problem arose when Harrison erected a Search Engine Optimised (SEO) website that identified himself as "the snakeman" diverting potential customers away from Hoser and his established business.
In 2002, a West Australian film maker, Ed Punchard through his company "Prospero", bootlegged the trademark Snakebusters to make a series of poor-quality TV shows for cable TV, featuring a novice snake handler attacking snakes with metal tongs. Hoser sued Prospero for breach of trademark and was paid $39,500 in damages, after Punchard's lawyers had pled bankruptcy, claiming net assets of about $327.
Prospero had also counter sued Hoser to deregister all three Snakebusters trademarks but lost that case as well.
As a result, they now call their tong-wielding snake handler the "snake crusader".
(This can all be most easily confirmed via a search of the IP Australia trademarks database and history listings at:
Today Hoser said, "with Mr. Smits, the trademark issue was solved quickly and amicably and without need for litigation.
Our business employing seven people, does not appear to have been damaged and we can get on with our conservation work. Unfortunately with the reptile business, there are some bigger snakes in terms of people rather than the snakes themselves. I found, Mr. Punchard was a tougher reptile to deal with than any snake!"
In other recent cases, Hoser has had several sizeable cash settlements in his favor for IP and defamation related cases. However Hoser stresses that the amounts paid never compensated for the total damages or the time wasted in litigation and that he'd rather not have been sidetracked defending his good reputation and the business he's established.
Snakeman Raymond Hoser has discovered and named more snakes than any other Australian in the last 20 years, and also has naming rights for the world's longest snake the Reticulated Python from Asia.
He formally placed them in a new genus he named Broghammerus in 2004 as part of a then controversial taxonomic revision of the world's pythons.
Several later studies including one of the DNA in 2008 by a PHD student Leslie Rawlings validated the move from the old genus "Python", which now has the smaller Burmese Python as the type species.
Hoser's also written nine definitive books, including one known in the reptile trade as "the bible", the 240 page "Australian Reptiles and Frogs" published in 1989, and the controversial best-sellers, Smuggled:The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife and Smuggled-2:Wildlife Trafficking, Crime and Corruption in Australia, (published in 1993 and 1996) both of which were initially banned by the NSW Government and then became best sellers when the courts ordered the bans lifted. The contents of the books forced governments across Australia, including in Qld, WA, and NSW, to rewrite laws overturning decades long bans on private reptile ownership. The upshot of this has been a massive boom in popularity of snakes and other reptiles as pets in Australia since then.
Snakebusters: 0412 777 211
03 9812 3322
A downloadable hi res. photo of Snakeman Raymond Hoser holding 14 deadly
snakes is on the web at:
It can be used for media provided the source "Snakebusters" is acknowledged, the photo is not on-sold and that no false, misleading or defamatory material be used with the image.
Non-urgent email inquiries via our bookings page at:
Snakebusters bookings and urgent inquiries phone:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:
(03) 9812 3322 or 0412 777 211