10:38 GMT25 July 2021
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    The artist’s legal bid in Australia is related to the iconic Love is in the Air and Girl with Balloon - two of the most recognisable masterpieces by the artist, whose identity is still shrouded in mystery. This time, however, his anonymity might be his enemy, an intellectual property expert warns.

    Legendary street artist Banksy has launched a legal bid to have his works protected by trademark laws in Australia to prevent his art from being illegally copied.

    The mystery-man filed an application to legally protect his masterpieces Love is in the Air and Girl with Balloon via the Perth law firm Bennett & Co. back in 2019, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The application was accepted in April and is now awaiting registration after the two-month period for filing an objection expires on 29 June.

    However, it is unclear if his endeavour to cover his works with a trademark will succeed, as a similar action launched in the EU fell through.

    In particular, a European intellectual property court emphasised that a copyright - which Banksy once said was "for losers", as the court made sure to mention in its ruling - requires the applicant's identity to be revealed.

    Additionally, Tim Golder, an intellectual property expert from Melbourne, told the Sydney Morning Herald that, under Australian laws, Banksy will also have to come clean and unmask himself if he wants to win the bid.

    “The legal person who owns the right has to make the claim. You can’t get out of that", Golder shared with the newspaper.

    The lawyer added that Banksy "got himself in a bit of a corner": trademark registration is unlikely to stop people from copying his artwork.

    The England-based street artist's satirical works, appearing on publicly visible surfaces throughout the globe, have made him a worldwide phenomenon. Banksy's popularity has also been enhanced by his enigmatic personality - up to this day, it remains unknown who the artist is, leading to numerous speculations about his identity.

    Australia, copyright, Banksy
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