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Application to WIPO to protect the word “ANZAC”

Application to WIPO to protect the word “ANZAC”

New Zealand and Australia are to make a joint application to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for international protection for the word ANZAC, Associate Minister of Commerce and Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard announced today.

If the application is successful, the 164 countries that are party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (which is administered by WIPO) will be required to refuse any application to register ANZAC as a trademark and to prohibit its unauthorised use as a trademark.

“This will mean that ANZAC, which is an integral part of our shared cultural heritage, will receive similar protection in the rest of the world that it enjoys in New Zealand and Australia,” said Judith Tizard.

“The commercial use of the word ANZAC is restricted in New Zealand by section 17 of the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981 and is similarly protected in Australia.”

The New Zealand and Australian governments decided to jointly submit a request to WIPO to protect the word ANZAC following a request lodged with the Turkish Patent Institute to register ANZAK (the Turkish equivalent of ANZAC") as a trademark.

“In keeping with the spirit of co-operation in the ANZAC tradition across New Zealand, Australia and Turkey, the good co-operation provided by the Turkish Patent Institute to decline the request was warmly received.

“This joint application for international protection of the word ANZAC shows that the ANZAC spirit is as strong as ever, and is evidence of the continuing close relationship between New Zealand and Australia,” Judith Tizard said.

"The word ANZAC was first coined to describe the joint Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War One,” said Australian Minister of Veteran's Affairs, Hon Danna Vale.

“Since then, in both Australia and New Zealand, it has come to represent the prized values of courage, determination and mateship epitomised by those who serve in the defence of our nations.

“It is fitting that Australia and New Zealand should apply jointly to ensure the international protection of the word that is synonymous with our shared military heritage.”

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