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Craig Bond: Australian businessman in bizarre war with James Bond over ‘Special Bond’ booze trademark

Adrian Rauso
The Nightly
2 Min Read
So, which Aussie family is at war with James Bond?
So, which Aussie family is at war with James Bond? Credit: The Nightly

The latest mission for the brand owner of UK super spy James Bond is to attempt to prevent businessman Craig Bond from trademarking his booze.

In February last year, a company belonging to Craig Bond — the son of the late entrepreneur Alan Bond — filed trademark applications for “Special Bond Vodka” and “Special Bond Gin.”

Seven months later, Danjaq LLC — which holds the James Bond trademarks in Australia — opposed the trademark applications.

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James Bond is a fictional character created by UK author Ian Fleming in 1952. The 007 spy has become a mainstay in popular culture over the past 70 years.

According to a statement on behalf of Craig Bond’s company, Great South Enterprises, Swan Brewery first introduced the “Special Bond” brand to Australian consumers around 1962.

Alan Bond acquired Swan Brewery in October 1981, which included the Special Bond brand.

The Special Bond brand was abandoned by Swan Brewery in the mid-1980s.

Craig Bond himself was involved with the early Special Bond brand, having worked in the marketing department of Swan Brewery in the 1980s.

“There was never an issue between the Special Bond brand and the Ian Fleming estate, even when ‘Special Bond’ was a registered trade mark in the 1980s,” he said.

A beer exhibition is currently on at the State Library of Western Australia, which showcases the Special Bond brand’s historical presence within WA’s brewing history.

Law firm Bennett — founded and run by Martin Bennett — is acting on behalf of Great South Enterprises.

Bennett principal Dave Stewart said Ian Fleming’s estate is “no doubt is unaware” of the history of the Special Bond brand.

“Mr Bond did not think at all of James Bond when his company adopted the brand. ‘Bond’ is his surname,” he said.

“We regard the prospect of confusion between Special Bond Vodka and Special Bond Gin with James Bond as non-existent.”

The West Australian understands a hearing to determine the outcome of the dispute will likely occur at the end of this year or early next year by the national trade mark registrar — IP Australia — which sits in Canberra.

A quick Google search reveals another Bond-named alcohol brand operating in Australia — Bond Store Wallaroo — which sells a selection of gins.

Craig Bond declared himself bankrupt in 2014 after losing a $100,000 legal row, following in the footsteps of his father, who was ordered into bankruptcy by a Federal Court judge in April 1992 after failing to pay $254 million in guarantees to bankers.

Meanwhile, the James Bond franchise has been back in the headlines recently after Marvel actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson was rumoured to be selected as the next on-screen 007, taking over from Daniel Craig.

Craig first graced the screen as James Bond in the 2006 film Casino Royale.

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