A MOVE by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to register his name as a trademark has been labelled “bizarre” in light of the freedom of information lobbying for which he has become internationally known.
Lawyers for the 39-year-old Australian are seeking to register Julian Assange in the UK as an entertainment services trademark, London newspaper The Guardian reported today.
The application seeks to protect his name in public speaking services, news reporter services, journalism, the publication of texts other than publicity texts, education services and entertainment services.
Lawyer Mark Stephens, for Assange, said the application to Britain’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has been made in a not-for-profit category.
“It’s not about restricting free speech,” Mr Stephens told The Guardian.
“It’s not that he’s out there trying to make huge amounts of money. It’s about protecting himself from being associated with things he doesn’t know about or approve of.”
The application has received a mixed response.
“It’s a bizarre thing for someone associated with freedom of information to do,” London law firm Preiskel and Co’s David Allen Green told The Guardian.
However trademark attorney specialist Abida Chaudri said the application is “quite logical”.
“I suspect the application is more to do with his going it alone and using his WikiLeaks website to publish material, as opposed to somebody else pretending to be Julian Assange, which is probably unlikely,” she said.
The IPO could take months to make a ruling on Assange’s application.Agencies