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Australia 'Silo art trail' trademark battle over who owns the right to use phrase

00:25  09 february  2021
00:25  09 february  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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There are 45 silo art projects across Australia, and silo art trails in five states. The Yarriambiack Shire is seeking permission to trademark the three-word phrase ' silo art trail '. Australia's largest grains handler GrainCorp has lodged an application opposing the trademark . The move caught GrainCorp by surprise after working with the council and many other communities around Australian to help bring life to disused silos . In response, in 2018 GrainCorp lodged its own legal argument to formally oppose the trademark . While the honour of the first silo art in Australia goes to Northam in Western Australia

Silo Art Trail – Gibson Street, Rupanyup, Victoria 3388 – rated 5 based on 69 reviews "We stayed at Patchewollock and started our drive from there. Advising visitors doing the Silo Art Trail plan your stay at the Sea Lake Motel enjoy our Room Service for your meals delivered to your door, making it safe for your sightseeing tour. We provide dinner and breakfast menus contact Helen at the Sea Lake Motel or Robyn at Robyn,s Kitchen on 0484 928 714 See more.

Silo art on GrainCorp-owned silos at Brim in regional Victoria. (Supplied: Annette Green) © Provided by ABC NEWS Silo art on GrainCorp-owned silos at Brim in regional Victoria. (Supplied: Annette Green)

The nation's largest grain handler and a small council in rural Victoria are locked in a trademark battle over three little words that define some of the most monumental public art created in rural Australia in the past decade.

In 2017 Yarriambiack Shire delivered 400 pages of legal argument to IP Australia, the national agency responsible for trademarks, staking its claim to the phrase 'silo art trail'.

The move caught GrainCorp by surprise after working with the council and many other communities around Australian to help bring life to disused silos.

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Silo Art Trail – Gibson Street, Rupanyup, Victoria 3388 – rated 5 based on 65 reviews "We stayed at Patchewollock and started our drive from there. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. See actions taken by the people who manage and post content.

Colbinabbin Silo Art Trail , Colbinabbin. 3,617 likes · 96 talking about this · 2,713 were here. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. See actions taken by the people who manage and post content. Page created - October 5, 2018.

In response, in 2018 GrainCorp lodged its own legal argument to formally oppose the trademark.

While the honour of the first silo art in Australia goes to Northam in Western Australia in 2015, Yarriambiack conceived the idea of the art trail in 2016.

Mayor Graham Massey said the community wants acknowledgement that the 'silo art trail' originated in their shire.

"We are the first ones where a number of towns running north and south over hundreds of kilometres formed a link," he said.

Councillor Massey said the council thought it also deserved recognition for helping other communities.

"We used to get a lot of phone calls from communities who said they would like to have their silos painted, so we were able to help them work out contracts, what grants were available, how to find artists.

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Percent for Art schemes have led to growth in the amount of public art in WA, and the boom is just beginning. “While public art has been a part of Perth’s cultural identity for some time, it’s really only recently that we have seen a substantial shift away from the practice of shoehorning public art on the end of projects,” Ms Australia Post said they hoped this special collection of Water Tower art will be just as popular as the previous silo art series which featured our very own Ravensthorpe silos mural by Amok Island Who 's lining up with us at the nearest post office Australian Silo Art Trail .

The Australian Silo Art Trail has a brand-new website which is now more interactive and more informative than ever before. As always though, it will be a continual work in progress. For example, you may run a local caravan park, hotel or bakery in silo or water tower town, you could now direct website visitors directly to your very own business in that town. For more information about this please head on over to the website but be quick as there is space for only one business advertisement per page.

"What we wanted in return was once they had their silos done, they wouldn't forget that there was already a trail that is in existence in north-west Victoria.

"So, if they were going to do brochures and publicise their area, we would receive recognition of our shire logo on any information, that Yarriambiack Shire was the home of the original silo art trail," he said.

GrainCorp disappointed

Having worked with Yarriambiack Council on its first silo at Brim, GrainCorp said it was disappointed by the claim.

"We did reach out to the council to try to discuss it a few times, because we really feel that phrase has just become synonymous with this movement to bring tourists out to regional Australia," GrainCorp corporate affairs manager Jess Simons said.

"We have essentially opposed the phrase because we feel that it is a common descriptive phrase that can be used by everyone," she said.

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The Trade Marks Act 1938 in the United Kingdom set up the first registration system based on the “intent- to - use ” principle. The Act also established an application publishing procedure and expanded the rights of the trademark holder to include the barring of trademark use even in cases where confusion remained unlikely. A registered trademark confers a bundle of exclusive rights upon the registered owner, including the right to exclusive use of the mark about the products or services for which it is registered.

If Tracy started facing right , which direction would she be facing after we ran the following code? How would I change Tracy's trail to a yellow line with a thickness of 10 pixels? Store information to use in our code. Which code will have Tracy move forward 10, then turn left and move forward 20?

Since 2015, the company has supported 14 projects across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

"It has been a huge success over the past few years and obviously it has been pretty inspiring for many regional communities, many of which have been affected by drought to convert these unused silos into massive public artworks," Ms Simons said.

"By creating a trail of sorts you are actually able to market the opportunity for a lot of people to come and do a road trip and come and stop at these towns, buy a coffee, spend some money in the area, and see some amazing artworks."

Ms Simons said the grains trader was not attempting to own the trademark and did not believe it should be owned by anyone, but freely used by the community.

She said GrainCorp has repeatedly reached out to the Yarriambiack Council, but it had not responded.

"Our concern with the trademark is that council could potentially look to licence it out and charge a fee to use the phrase," Ms Simons said.

"They would also potentially have the ability to stop other councils from using the phrase, so we foresee a real issue for those communities in wanting to use that praise to promote their artworks."

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'Please drop it'

In 2018, Annette Green and her husband packed their caravan and left their home in Mandurah in Western Australia for their retirement adventure and fell in love with silo art.

"We came across our first one in Ravensthorpe in Western Australia, and I just looked at it and thought: 'Oh my God, this is just amazing'," she said.

"So, I was super excited about seeing more on our holidays, but there was nowhere where you could find out where they were.

"So after six months I took it upon myself, I thought: 'Right, I need to help other people find these silos', so I started a Facebook page, a website and it just exploded from there — the interest was just phenomenal."

The self-described regional tourism ambassador has documented all 45 silos across Australia (they lost one to concrete cancer) and 83 water towers.

Ms Green said she was horrified when she found out the Victorian council was trying to trademark the phrase.

"Probably it's too strong a word but, yeah, horror, because there are five states in Australia with silo art trails, two trails in Victoria, Tasmania is trying to get on board as well," she said.

"This particular shire has only six out of 45 so they shouldn't be allowed to claim that title because the silo art trail affects the whole of Australia — not just the Yarriambiack Shire.

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"It is going to affect all those little towns that are trying promote their silos, it's massive. I don't know the legal ramifications of it, I don't know if I can use the words, or if anyone else can."

Last year, Ms Green raised $61,000 from the sale of calendars about the silo art trails and donated the money between the 14 communities it featured.

Her message to Yarriambiack Council was: "Please drop it!"

'Simply recognition paid' to where it started

Councillor Massey said he would guarantee that no rural communities would have to pay for the right to use the phrase if they acknowledged Yarriambiack as the original 'silo art trail'.

"We are not using it to make money, and we are not using it to stop anyone else, we would just like acknowledgement that the 'silo art trail' originated in our shire," he said.

"It's not copyrighted and not for royalties, it is simply recognition paid to where the silo art trail started, and a trail is more than one silo, it's a place where people can move from one point to another point via a series of points in between and see silo art."

A decision by IP Australia is expected later this year.

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