houses in snow 046The word Thredbo may well conjure up images of schussing down the snowfields and hot chocolates in the ski lodge.

But does that mean the place name can be trademarked by a private company?

The issue has come to light in the lengthy battle between snowfields operator Kosciuszko Thredbo – the trademark applicant – and minnow accommodation provider Thredbonet.

In July, Kosciuszko Thredbo, owned by the $1.5 billion entertainment giant Amalgamated Holdings, lost its two-year legal battle against Thredbonet, with the Federal Court declaring the self-described “Disneyland” of the Snowy Mountains was not entitled to the exclusive use of the word.

Kosciuszko Thredbo, which operates a resort, ski school, leisure centre, and a slew of other services, failed to prove Thredbonet’s use of the geographic term in its online marketing would mislead consumers.

But Kosciuszko Thredbo is so convinced the word “Thredbo” has now taken on a secondary meaning to signify a “complete branded entity”, that it has filed a trademark application over the word.

This has infuriated Thredbonet, which launched a fresh appeal in the Federal Court last week to halt the registrar from finalising the request, saying it was contrary to law.

Thredbonet’s managing director Glenn Smith said: “We’re trying to make it a fair trading community. No one should have the right to control the use of a geographical word that describes where someone’s house is or business is.”

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