Protecting Existing Marks

December 2003

Artists, Merchandising

In the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Defence has filed an application at the UK Patents Office to register the RAF’s red, white and blue ‘target’ or roundel as a trade mark. Registration will include use in clothing. A number of fashion companies have opposed the registration saying that the roundel entered the public domain in the 60s when the ‘mods’ started using the same red, white and blue roundel as a symbol. The owner of the Lambretta clothing company pointed out that the target device had been used since and is closely associated with the style of dress worn by mods, with the band The Who and with the film¬†Quadrophenia¬†which starred Sting and Phil Daniels. The RAF (Royal Air Force) still use the roundel on their military aircraft.

In the United States, Native American tribes are seeking to protect their tribal names from commercial exploitation. The tribes point to uses such as the Cherokee Jeep and names for sports teams such as the ‘Redskins’. The tribes have persuaded the US Patent & Trademark Office to created a database of official Native American insignia and logos with the aim of preventing the use of such for commercial gain without permission.

No Comments

Comments are closed.