There Can Be Only One New Finland?

from the uusi-suomi dept

Reader Mimu Bunnylin points us to an interesting “trademark” battle coming out of Finland, where the Green political party kicked off their latest political campaign with a new slogan: “New Finland” (apparently Uusi Suomi in Finnish). Seems pretty generic, right? Well, apparently for a long time there was a newspaper in Finland that went by that name, and while it went out of business in 1991, in 2007 it was revived as an online only publication. While the editor of that publication didn’t see anything wrong with the Green Party slogan, the publisher apparently went ballistic (Google translation from the original Finnish). He called (a different) Finnish newspaper from his vacation to complain about what the Green Party had done:

“This is intolerable, damn it! It is shocking that the Greens think they can demean the name of New Finland without contacting me!”

According to Bunnylin, the publisher also said:

“If due reparations are not agreed on, Green voters can vote for the Pirate Party, who think no one should pay for using other people’s rights.”

Of course, it seems that’s what it really comes down to: “due reparations.” Perhaps the publisher saw an opportunity to try to get some cash out of this. However, it does raise questions about whether or not such a generic and descriptive phrase like “New Finland” can really be trademarked in the first place.

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