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Outrage at use of Black Caviar name for Racehorse in South Africa – By Jeff Garrett – Partner


The unwitting owners of the horse in South Africa that has been named “Black Caviar” have bowed to overwhelming public pressure and renamed their racehorse “Black Beluga” after an uproar in the racing industry.

Under the Australian racing rules and regulations, certain champion racehorse names cannot be used again ever if they fall into certain categories.  This does not prevent other countries from using famous racehorses’ names and this is exactly what happened in South Africa with the name “Black Caviar”.

Black Caviar and everything associated with her racing career and her name is a very valuable commodity in Australia and arguably worldwide.  We have previously commented on the intellectual property attached to the name Black Caviar and the famous salmon and black spot colours which her owners have protected by way of various trademarks.

Read more: Black Caviar – She`s on track for royalties – By Jeff Garrett – Legal Practice Director (as published in the GC Sun – 4/7/12)

The protection of intellectual property and being able to prevent the exploitation of a brand or image are basic tenets of our legal system in Australia.

Arguably, the owners of Black Caviar may have been able to bring enforcement proceedings to stop the use of the Black Caviar name but only if the registered trademarks held by them have been registered in the country of origin and they are a party to the relevant conventions applying to these international laws.

Quite apart from the legal issues associated with the use of the name Black Caviar, the racing industry itself was outraged at the temerity of these people to replicate the name of the reigning world champion sprinter.

For further information regarding intellectual property advice or registering trademarks and protecting your business, please do not hesitate to contact  our property and commercial department manager Amanda Heather on direct line 07 5506 8245, email or phone 1800 621 071.

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