Last year we reported that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was seeking to trademark his name. But after seeing these images recorded by one eagle-eyed Asia-based blogger, he may want to trademark his face too.
OzSoapbox is the blog of an Australian currently living in Taiwan, and he noticed that a man that looks very much like Julian Assange is being used to advertise a company called DSG Technology in Japan…and it seems like it might not be officially sanctioned.
You can see a close-up picture here:
The blogger writes:
“My own investigation attempts turned up nothing so figuring the Chinese text would reveal clues, I handed over what I had to the girlfriend and within minutes she pointed me to the website of DSG Technology.
DST’s Xfile Confidential range appears to consist of telephony products which encrypt voice communications via a ‘Diffie-Hellman 2048-bit Asymmetric Algorithm‘.
The phone number featured on the billboard matches the address provided by DSG Technology Taiwan on their website.
So what’s a multinational corporation using Julian Assange’s image to market their phone call security products for? And more importantly – do either Julian Assange or Wikileaks even know about it or endorse DSG’s Xfile Confidential products?”
Indeed, judging by WikiLeaks’ tweet earlier, it seems that this isn’t official.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 14, 2012
Assange’s London law firm submitted the application to trademark his name exactly one year ago today, and it covers the use of his name in the fields of “Public speaking services; news reporter services; journalism; publication of texts other than publicity texts; education services; entertainment services.”
Whilst it’s not all that uncommon for public figures to seek to protect their image with such a trademark, with an extradition to Sweden hanging over his head, it’s not clear how bothered he’ll be that his likeness is being used in this way. And if you’re thinking “that might not be Assange in the advert”, check out this often-published photograph and imagine him with sunglasses on.