Trophies and trade marks
1 Nov 2011
It's the race that stops the nation, but how do the great racing houses stop their IP galloping down the straight into someone else's hands?
Since the inaugural race in 1861, on the first Tuesday of November at 3pm it's become an Australian tradition to shoosh the kids while you tune in the radio during the school pick-up, or to step away from the desk to crowd around a TV so you can hold your breath or lose your voice for the three or so minutes it takes to make racing history.
Many names come to mind when looking back over the history of the Melbourne Cup - the first to win the race was Archer in 1861, Phar Lap needs no introduction despite his win taking place way back in 1930, Might and Power broke records and the pack in 1997, Media Puzzle's win in 2002 was a bittersweet victory due to jockey Damien Oliver's personal loss and then of course there's Makybe Diva's hat-trick in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
The bay mare with the name Makybe Diva is not only well known in the racing community but has also passed into the broader Australian collective memory. Few of us haven't heard the name and many of us associate it with a handy windfall before Christmas. Celebrated as one of the racing greats, along with Australia's beloved Phar Lap, Makybe Diva's name isn't just valuable sentimentally - it's also worth a great deal in real dollars.
Her connections are not unaware of this fact. Trade mark 1031036 MAKYBE DIVA has been registered since November 2004 in 21 classes of goods and services. By claiming a broad range of goods and services, the owners have ensured that her name and brand is adequately protected and that others can not profit from the dedication and hard work that went into making her a household name.
So it's interesting to note on race day that there's more to it than the champagne, the cup and the cash - because as the cup is being engraved, so is our history with a name that will be remembered long after the race has ended; a name that may be worth more than the winnings on the day.
Last Updated: 29/11/2012