UK Guy Trademarks Famous Gov't Slogan, Goes After Others For Using It
from the keep-calm-and-carry-on-suing dept
During World War II, the British government apparently created a slogan and poster that read Keep Calm and Carry On:
And yet… another guy has gone out and trademarked the phrase and is seeking takedowns on anyone selling competing merchandise. In the video at that BBC link, the guy who now owns the trademark, Mark Coop, really comes across as having a massive sense of entitlement for taking something in the public domain and locking it up:
“Having quit the day job, and put my life and soul into this, and build it up and then rely on it for my livelihood, I have to protect my own interests. You know, and faced with the risk of losing everything you’ve worked for, I find it hard to believe that other people wouldn’t do the same thing.”
Wow. First of all, Coop isn’t at risk of “losing everything.” He can still keep selling the same products. The trademark itself seems highly questionable, since the phrase first came from the government in 1939 and was used popularly in the UK in the early 2000s before Coop went into business. The fact that he quit his day job to do this is meaningless under trademark law. What about the others who did the same who are now being blocked by Coop? Coop goes on, condescendingly:
“Had I not built this up, they probably wouldn’t never heard of it. They wouldn’t, you know, have ever even seen it. So, I think they’re jumping on the back of what I, essentially, came up with.”
Except, um, he didn’t come up with it. The UK government did. And others appeared to have begun selling it before he did. So what claim does he really have here?