Malcolm Mabo wanted to use his surname for a new clothing business. However, Mabo is no ordinary name. His father, Eddie 'Koiki' Mabo, led the landmark High Court case for native title in Australia.

The Mabo brand is made from Malcolm's surname and symbols from his traditional community. He applied for a trade mark to protect his brand.


Malcolm Mabo's trade mark
Above: Malcolm Mabo's trade mark


Another clothing business, Mambo, opposed the registration of Malcolm's trade mark. At first, Mambo thought Mabo was too similar to their trade mark.

This is normal for businesses with well known brands, but Mambo wanted to talk with Mr Mabo and find a friendly solution.

It didn't take long for Malcolm Mabo and Mambo to come to an agreement and both businesses can now use their trade marks.

Mambo will re-release a 100% Mabo T-shirt, first distributed to celebrate the 1992 High Court decision. All profits will go towards helping Mr Mabo establish his clothing line in the North Queensland community of Palm Island.