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Sunday, 17 August 2003


Dunlop Canada (follow link to The Buzz, then Events, then Dunlop Name Swap) has invited Canadians whose surnames coincide with that of other tyre firms to change the last names to Dunlop in return for a share of $25,000. Bradley, Jackson, Brian and Janice Dunlop (as they are now known – all formerly Goodyear) have each been paid $6,250 for their troubles and, according to Dunlop, have “made their mark.” The IPKat doubts whether changing your name in order to be part of a publicity campaign can be meaningfully described as expressing your individuality. In any event, Dunlop isn’t a particularly outlandish name and signing your credit-card receipt “Bradley Dunlop” isn’t going to raise too many eyebrows. How different it would have been if the challenge had been set by, say, a certain Atlanta-based drinks manufacturer and the gentleman was to be known as “Bradley Coca-Cola…” This form of publicity stunt may work better in the long-term where the trade mark in question is inherently distinctive, especially if it is fanciful. The IPKat also wonders: if one of the newly-named Dunlops begins behaving badly, robs a bank or is seen leaving (or appearing in) a strip-club, does this count as trade mark tarnishment?

Compare the Canadian Dunlop site with the US and UK sites
Other useful things to do with rubber here, here, here and here

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