Vancouver Olympics 'Brand Protection Guidelines' Almost Entirely Arbitrary

from the where-do-we-include-the-drake-equation dept

Marcus Carab writes "VANOC (the Vancouver Olympics organization) has a 22-page booklet on their site covering trademark issues around the Olympics.

Most of it isn't new, but I found the description of their method (starts on page 12) to be very interesting. They describe a rubric with six categories that they use to determine if any given reference to the Olympics is potentially infringing. There are a few things about the method that stood out to me (beyond the broader fact that they are essentially attempting to rewrite trademark law as they see fit):
  • Each category is scored from 1 to 3, with a lower score being ideal. There is no option for zero in their ranking, and yet the final grading scale begins with "Unlikely to Infringe" rather than "Not Infringing"
  • They offer a bunch of examples and walk you through the math, then they ignore the outcome in some of them. Seriously. A bakery called "Olympic Bakery" that has existed since 1965 scores a 10 out of 18 on their system ("potential infringement"). Almost as if they realized how ridiculous that was while writing it, they decided to say it falls under "unlikely to infringe" even though it very clearly doesn't by their own math. A few pages later, a Winter Festival scores a "potential infringement", but they class it as "likely to infringe" with no explanation given.
Mostly this is just the same old Olympic shenanigans, but I found this booklet quite illustrative of just how ridiculous things can get."


It sounds kind of like the way they judge some of the events in the Olympics themselves.

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  1. identicon
    for the copyright retarded, 26 Jan 2010 @ 7:08pm

    PRIOR ART TIME ( ANCIENT GREECE )

    i hereby put on record that there use of the WORD olympics is OUT OF COPYRIGHT IN CANADA as it was 1st done in ancient times and as early as the early 30's thus all there stuff is by LAW NOT COPYRIGHTABLE IN CANADA as we have 50 year copyright and thus goes back only too , yup you guessed it 1960.

    I WOULD LIKE some richer prick to take that on too cause us poor folk can't afford there BULLSHIT LIES.
    THIS IS A SET OF GAMES DERIVED FORM ANCIENT GREECE
    IT IS NOT the WWF NOR UFC
    it is not a games show and it is supposed to emulate if not BE like the ancient games but with modern twists.

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