Two trademark applications have been filed at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) for the terms BLACK LIVES MATTER and I CAN’T BREATHE, terms associated with the ongoing worldwide protests following the death of US citizen George Floyd.
The applicant behind the trademarks, Manchester-based businessman Georgios Demetriou,claims that he plans to launch a non-profit organisation to help disadvantaged children – and, if the marks are granted, will seek a royalty fee from any other entities that uses the terms in the UK.
Of course, should the trademarks reach registration, Demetriou will need to enforce the rights, and that includes protecting against unauthorised use by third parties. To that end, he says he will hire a legal team to specialise in protecting the marks.
"I will let other organisations use the terms as long as they pay a royalty to the charity,” he adds. “Once I've got the trademarks, the charity will be run effectively like a business, and we will see who is saying the right things – we don't want people just arranging protests for the sake of it.
" We want to engineer processes that will generate the right publicity, such as signed petitions and turning up at 10 Downing Street. I want to see things that get direct results rather than a lot of middle class white students going on a protest. I don't want these terms to be a fashionable thing, I want them to be life-changing."
Two rather chilling statements there -
- "he says he will hire a legal team to specialise in protecting the marks." And pay them lots of money to do so. Probably an obscene amount of money.
- "“Once I've got the trademarks, the charity will be run effectively like a business, and we will see who is saying the right things – we don't want people just arranging protests for the sake of it."
Because a business doesn't want any spontaneous protests, do they ? At least, not unless they've paid the businessman for the right to protest.
Of course the applications have not yet been granted, and there is a good chance that they won't be - but its an indication of the state of Britain in the 2020s that everything is seen as an opportunity for monetisation and exploitation.
Full article : https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/governmentpolicy/black-lives-matter-and-i-cant-breathe-trademarks-filed-manchester-businessman