Colombia Denies Family Of Pablo Escobar Trademark On His Name
from the trademark-is-a-hell-of-a-law dept
We've seen cases previously where people have trademarked their own name, or an estate has trademarked the name of a family member. While that concept still strikes me as somewhat silly, those marks are typically used to ensure false endorsements aren't promoted by companies that otherwise wouldn't have received one. And that makes at least some semblance of sense in conjunction with the overarching purpose of trademark law: avoiding customer confusion. In other words, you don't want a famous name associated with a product that hasn't actually been endorsed.
However, I'm at quite a loss as to what the family of famous cocaine-slinger Pablo Escobar imagined they were going to do when they attempted to trademark his name. Did they somehow think that the infamous drug-pusher/murderer was going to show up on Coca-Cola cans? Or perhaps they're planning to release their own line of clothing? More likely they, like so many others, are confused on what the actual limits on trademark law are and wish to use the mark as a censoring tool for how Escobar is represented in documentaries and historical media.
Either way, it doesn't matter, because Colombia has now repeatedly denied the request for the mark.
The Commission of Industry and Commerce said Thursday that granting a trademark would be immoral and subvert public order. It said the name Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria is associated with a dark period of violence in Colombia that claimed thousands of lives as he fought extradition to the United States.Now, I'm not all that fond of the morality claim, but it brings a smile to my face to see a governing body put the interest of the public in front of someone requesting a trademark. It sure would be nice if we saw more of that in the States.