The Australian Coat of Arms can be found in the United States Patent and Trademark Office database. Conspiracy theorists offer this as a key piece of evidence to support their claim that the Australian government is not legitimate, and that it is in fact a privately owned U.S. corporation.
In this article I’ll demonstrate that they are completely wrong about the Coat of arms.
The reason that the Australian Coat of Arms can be found in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database is that USPTO employees regularly copy new information from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) into the USPTO database so that people don’t have to search both databases.
What is the WIPO database?
The WIPO’s mission is to “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world”.
It was created in 1967 and became part of the UN in 1974 – it’s helping everyone implement the 1883 treaty called Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (aka Paris Convention) in which countries agreed that respecting each other’s copyright and trademark laws was a very good thing.
One part of the Paris Convention, Article 6ter, relates to protection of flags, coats of arms and other emblems used by governments and countries.
WIPO maintains a database of all the things registered under article 6ter. Private companies can’t register anything in the 6ter database, only governments can.
Australian Coat of Arms in the 6ter database
Here is how you can see for yourself what Australia has registered in the 6ter database:
- Go to the 6ter search page
- In the “State” field select “Australia” from the dropdown list.
- Click [Search]
This will return you these 8 items:
If you click on the links you will see that the first one is for the word “ANZAC” and the rest are variations of the Australian Coat of Arms and look like this:
Note the text below the emblem, in particular the “Circular Date: 25.07.1991”. This is the date that the emblem was registered with the database. This is an important date because these same emblems were registered with the USPTO database just 6 months later on 8/1/1992.
Why register the Coat of Arms with USPTO?
The Australian Government did NOT register their Coat of Arms with the USPTO! The USPTO simply copies everything in the 6ter database into their USPTO database – it took them 6 months to get around to doing it.
To see the Australian listings in the USPTO database do the following:
- Go to the USPTO site
- Half way down the page click on the Tess Search Tardemarks
- Towards the bottom of the page click the “Browse dictionary” link
- Click the [structured] button
- Type one of the following serial numbers (89000474, 89000475, 89000531, 89000532, 89000533, 89000534, 89000535 ) into the “search term” field
- select “serial number” from the “field” field
- click [submit Query]
Doing that for 89000474 returns this:
Note the “Filing Date: January 8 1992” which is 6 months after it was registered in the 6ter database.
Note the “Owner: (APPLICANT) Commonwealth of Australia STATE AGENCY AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA”. It is a “State Agency” not a “Private Company”!
Note the “Other Data: Article 6ter Paris Convention – AUSTRALIA” which acknowledges that that’s where they got the information from.
I emailed the USPTO to ask them whether they copied entries from the 6ter database and they replied that they did, and referred me to this page on their website for a fuller explanation.
Here is the relevant paragraph:
“When the USPTO receives notifications from the IB under Article 6ter, the USPTO searches its records for conflicting marks, although the requests are not subjected to a full examination by an examining attorney or published for opposition. If the USPTO determines that a designation should be entered into the USPTO search records to assist USPTO examining attorneys, the designation is assigned a serial number in the “89” series code (i.e., serial numbers beginning with the digits “89,” sometimes referred to as “non-registrations”). Information about the designation should be discovered in an examining attorney’s search.”
Note also that these governmental trademarks are given a USPTO ID starting with “89” and are referred to as “non-registrations” because they didn’t actually register with the USPTO!
Here are few examples of items belonging to other countries starting with 89:
89000309 emblem of Budapest
89000309 government of denmark
89000310 government of denmark
89001122 flag of Sweden
Surely I have presented way more than enough evidence to prove conclusively that the inclusion of the Australian Coat of Arms in the USPTO database DOES NOT mean that the Australian Government is a private corporation.
Sadly, I am certain that many conspiracy theorists will read this article and immediately erase it from their memory so that they can continue making the same ridiculous claims as before.