SBS: ‘We’re flattered ACP stole the Tech Life name’

Techlife magazineACP’s reincarnated computing magazine TechLife, which rose from the ashes of PC User yesterday, has irked publishers already using the TechLife name.

SBS uses the name for its the blog Tech Life, which is written by technology journalist Trevor Long, who also writes his own similarly named blog Your Tech Life.

However, the name has not been trademarked by a publisher in Australia – so ACP appears to be on legally safe ground.

SBS marketing director Jacquie Riddell told Mumbrella: “It’s flattering when people steal your name. We could send them a letter advising them that they’re trading on something people know and recognise as ours. But we won’t do that. It’s just a blog.”

Riddell referred to another case of ‘name theft’ two years ago, when New Zealand broadcaster TV3 used the same slogan as SBS’s ‘Six billion stories and counting’.

“Naming is a horrible task and there are so many restrictions. But ACP’s approach has been sloppy,” she said.

Trevor Long told Mumbrella: “I have received a barrage of emails and twitter messages about this, particularly from PRs. It is annoying. But good for SEO, so bring it on.”

He added: “What I find crazy is that a company with a magazine about technology is rebranding to a name that they can’t even get a web address for.”

Techlife.com is registered to an American company that aggregates other tech vendor sites, from mobile phones to swimming pools. Techlife.com.au is a service for installing flat screens, home theatre equipment and data cabling.

ACP has registered techlifemagazine.com.au and techlifemag.com.au domains, and has applied to register the trademark Tech Life.

Deborah Thomas, ACP’s director of media, public affairs and brand development said in a statement: “Our checks revealed that many people use the phrase Tech Life, and we don’t think there’s a risk of our magazine being confused with either of these blogs, or any others which might also use the same or similar phrases. We have applied to register the name for the goods and services we will be providing. However, the registration process takes many months and the trade mark is pending.”

Comments


  1. Jubilee
    22 Mar 12
    11:24 am

  2. There’s also TechLiving magazine by Dick Smith which is on the newsstand… http://dicksmith.com.au/help/techliving-content

  3. Cameron
    22 Mar 12
    12:06 pm

  4. It makes a good blog name… or might suit a liftout from a newspaper… I’m not sure it’s a great monthly magazine name, though. Wonder how extensively it was tested with audiences?

  5. Nick
    22 Mar 12
    12:17 pm

  6. Such is tech life.

  7. Deborah
    22 Mar 12
    12:42 pm

  8. Get a grip… so it’s the same name as a heading to a blog buried deep in the SBS website.
    ACP is following the correct legal procedures to search and register this trademark having already registered the domain name/web address TechLifemagazine.
    I think given that the other blog is in fact called YOUR Tech Life we should let this one go. If you want more fun check out Tech Life Web it’s on You tube and Google, along with all the other similar phrases.
    Back to real work now.

  9. Tom Petryshen
    22 Mar 12
    4:04 pm

  10. There is a plus for the others who already use the name. Sites life Yourtechlife.com.au (and the service company Techlife.com.au owned by Hills) will benefit from the ncreased search referrals that result from ACP’s ongoing branding efforts.

  11. MikeS
    22 Mar 12
    4:14 pm

  12. If there really is angst over the name’s usage there is a legal remedy even without a trade mark – if SBS can show clients/consumers have been confused or lead to believe that the new Tech Life is related to the old Tech Life (or one of the old Tech Lifes) then there is a tort of passing off that they can sue under. Which might get them $3.50 and their lawyers $350,000 in fees

  13. Offal Spokesperson
    22 Mar 12
    4:37 pm

  14. in 2003 I sent an email to some one and it contained the phrase “my tech life”.

    SBS arent complaining, it wasnt trademarked….

    “Nothing to see here, move along”

  15. Darren Horrigan
    22 Mar 12
    6:30 pm

  16. Symptomatic of the dearth of ideas from ACP these days. The place hasn’t had an original thought since Daniel Petre left the building.