The Canadian Press reports that the organisers of the 2010 Olympic Games have applied to register two lines of the Canadian national anthem as trade mark: "with glowing hearts" and "des plus brilliants exploits". The two lines of the anthem, which is out of copyright, have been adopted as slogans for Canada's hosting of the games in 2010. Canada has already passed legislation to protect words which wouldn't normally qualify for trade mark protection, such as 'winter'.
As the article points out, the trade mark would only be able to be used to crack down on traders selling Olympic merchandise, rather than people actually singing the national anthem.
The IPKat notes that problems related to overlaps in IP protection involving trade marks normally involve product shapes, not words, so this throws up different potential problems. Surely here there are good grounds for objecting to even a limited taking out of the public domain of elements of Canada's cultural heritage? As a general principle, the IPKat doesn't really understand why the Olympics are treated as such a special case for being granted extra protection. Do they really differ that much from other commercial sporting events?
O Canada Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, September 26, 2008 Rating: