The July-August issue of Informa's ten-times a year Trademark World contains a cover story which rather appeals to the IPKat. "Trash or Treasure", by Andrea Anderson (Holland & Hart) discusses a subject that is pretty novel to European trade mark jurisprudence, being all about controlling your brand in the age of upcycling. She writes:
"Recycling is so ‘90s. What’s hot now is “upcycling,” the creation of jewellery, fashion and objects for the home assembled from used, thrown-out, found and repurposed elements, sometimes known as “trashion". Thanks to the upcycling movement, the eco-conscious consumer can store her writing instruments in a pencil case made from OREO cookie wrappers, carry that pencil case in a purse made from FIRESTONE tyre inner tubes, and accent her home with wall art crafted from TIDE and GAIN detergent bottles. These “trashion” products possess a certain eco-chic cachet, particularly where they display the trademarks and other branding of the original repurposed elements".The IPKat has long cherished what is presumably a piece of repurposed trashion -- a mirror the frame of which is made entirely of Coca-Cola cans. From a legal point of view it's quite interesting since COCA-COLA and COKE are the only trade marks that are visible anywhere on the front or back of the product. If it were to cause personal injury and the seller could not be found or identified, who better to sue ...? Merpel adds, the distinctive colour and lettering of Coca-Cola's marks make the brand ideal for trashion purposes (see illustration, above right), while many other brands would be far harder to trashionise. Seriously, though, is trashion a danger which successful brands have to handle, or is it just a good laugh? Do let the IPKat know what you think by posting your comments below or emailing him here.
You can view the contents of this issue of Trademark World here.