Faster, Higher, Stronger… It’s super-trade-mark!

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) owns the trade-marks related to the 2010 Olympic games – what they call the “Olympic Brand”.  VANOC has given notice of over a hundred marks already, all under Section 9 of the Trade-marks Act which is a unique category of trade-mark known as “official marks”.   Owners of official marks already have the benefit of some very special rights and remedies that the rest of us mere mortals can only dream of. 

According to their recent report, VANOC is now in discussions with the federal government regarding “special legislation to protect the Olympic Brand.” In their view, such legislation would be designed “to protect [VANOC’s] marks and to prevent or reduce ambush marketing of its sponsors during the period leading up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games through to the end of the 2010 Games.”  As if the strength of Section 9 marks is not enough they appear to be gunning for some new category of super-trade-mark.  Wouldn’t it be nice if every business could lobby the government for special legislation to protect its own collection of marks?  

Thanks to Neil Melliship for his post on this. 

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  1. […] Proposed legislation has been introduced to focus specifically on the protection of Olympic trade-marks.  The Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act (Bill C-47), introduced last week, will attempt to prevent unauthorized use of the Olympic trade-marks by anyone other than corporate licensees who have paid handsomely for the privilege of associating themselves with the 2010 Games.  Oops, I just used two protected words which appear in the Bill, along with Winter, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Medals and Canada’s Games.  In my earlier post, I queried why such legislation was required in light of the extraordinary protection already provided under Section 9 of the Trade-marks Act.  Other commentators have also expressed concern over this special-interest legislation. If passed, the law will grandfather all potentially infringing uses which were in use prior to March 2nd.  Enforcement will be interesting to watch.  […]

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