For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Monday, 2 August 2010

The marketing of octopus Paul

Our readers may remember Paul (left), the psychic octopus, who became a global sensation when he correctly predicted the outcome of all Germany games in the recent football World Cup as well as the result of the World Cup final. Paul clearly has become a strong brand (see the IPKat post here and reports on Marques Class 46 here, here , here and here)) and somewhat bizarrely still makes the international headlines long after the World Cup.


A short selection of Paul stories: RTL recently reported that a Russian company was interested in hiring Paul as a "bookie", whereas German magazine Der Spiegel informed us that an American composer Parry Gibb composed a love song for Paul ("Paul the octopus, we love you") which can be experienced on YouTube. The Telegraph then reported that Kazakh bookmakers were "furious at Paul" and blamed him for "their paltry World Cup profits", whereas Chinese website Xinhuanet reported that the Chinese comic suspense film "Kill Paul Octopus" will open in Chinese cinemas in August. Paul, also made an enemy: The Telegraph today reported last week that Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed that Paul symbolizes the "decadence and decay" of the Western world. In the latest news today, we learn from the Austrian Der Kurier that Paul will now also record an album of Elvis songs ("Paul The Octopus Sings Elvis"). I still have hope that the latter was meant to be a satirical article but I fear that this is a genuine news item.

So, how long do we think it took for the first Paul trade marks to appear? You guessed correctly, not very long. Interestingly but not surprisingly, the trade marks were applied for by different applicants.

German trade mark Paul das Orakel was already filed on 2 July 2010, Community trade mark No. 009240532 Polpo Octopus Paul was filed on 12 July 2010 as where two German trade marks in the name of Sea Life Deutschland GmbH, the zoo where Paul resides. Further creative Paul marks, such "Paul die Krake” (Krake is German for octopus), “Oracle Paul” and “Okrakel Paul“, were subsequently also filed by different applicants (for more details, see Marques Class 46 reports here, here , here and here).

However, the marketing of Paul is far from over. Today, we read in Der Spiegel that Paul has landed a marketing deal with German supermarket chain REWE. According to Der Spiegel has has so far "...received more than 160 endorsement offers, including a book deal" and, brace yourself, Paul now also has an agent.

This Kat can't help wondering whether this is a cultural phenomenon, since it is rather reminiscent of the (German) trade mark craze over the polar bear cubs Knut, Flocke and Co (see IPKat reports here and here)?

6 comments:

Derek Freyberg said...

Considering that Paul's lifespan is likely measured in months, the trademark fight will long outlive the animal - but who will care?

Anonymous said...

Paul should be cloned and his DNA patented - at the very least as part of a device or business method for predicting the future....

Anonymous said...

I think we should have a PAUL cook book - Calamaris etc

Premier Team International said...

Thanks for the post! Does Paul have any relatives? Maybe all octupii are psychic, not just him.

Virtual Global said...

Does Paul get paid? Or is this the first documented case of octupus slavery?

My Voice Dialing said...

@Virtual Global - I don't think that he signed any contracts to get paid. Maybe he slapped one of his little suction cups on a piece of paper, but that doesn't mean anything in the legal world...and I'm sure that any court system would take longer to get through than he would be alive for. But for the sake of posterity you might have something...

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