GameBids.com reports that Vancouver 2010 and Beijing 2008 are taking action against businesses using the word “Olympic” or the Olympic symbols. John Furlong, head of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic committee, is giving the owner of a Vancouver restaurant until Friday to take his Olympic symbols down. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported Furlong as saying he’s spent the last few months trying to persuade the owner of the restaurant to remove the Olympic rings and torch from his sign. Furlong says the 2010 organisers have made a commitment to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to protect the distinct trade marks:
“We have signed on the dotted line that we would not let this happen. When we went over there and gave our warranty of the province and the country on the bid, that was the promise we made. And that’s a key part of our discussions with the IOC".
The Olympic symbol: man's heritage or grubby little merchansdising symbol?
Meanwhile Beijing 2008 officials are having similar problems. Shanghai Customs discovered more than 2,000 bicycles from a company in Zhejiang with the symbol of the Olympics on them. The customs office has also discovered nine other cases violating the trade mark rights on several items including garments, chemical fibre blankets and locks. The customs office now regularly holds legal consulting meetings requiring companies to abide by the trade mark laws and regulations, and invites Olympic committee officials to give lectures to the companies informing them about the regulations. Shanghai customs has already seized several batches of goods pirating the Olympic symbols.
The IPKat hopes that a happy medium can be found. He really does not believe that anyone will choose to eat in a restaurant because it has the word Olympic in its title, but he doesn't like to see gross commercial exploitation by opportunitsts that damages the Olympic ethos even more than the IOC has already damaged it.
Fun Olympics here, here and here
Olympic joke here
Olympic corruption here and here