Trademarking our everyday lives

From the “wrong on so many levels” department, the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee has trademarked “with glowing hearts,” a line from the Canadian national anthem, and threatens to sue those who use the line in Canada. From the CBC article:

The committee is so serious about protecting the Olympic brand it managed to get a landmark piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons last year that made using certain phrases related to the Games a violation of law.

The list includes the number 2010 and the word “winter,” phrases that normally couldn’t be trademarked because they are so general.

Vancouver organizers have already taken small businesses in the Vancouver area to court for using the word Olympic in their names — even ones in existence long before the Games were awarded to Vancouver — and have launched lawsuits against people who’ve tried to register Olympic-related domain names on the internet.

In related pieces, CTV reports that Apple (a company for which I am increasingly losing respect) is threatening a lawsuite against a small Vancouver computer school that has an apple for a logo, and Starbucks is suing HaidaBucks, a small cafe in Haida Gwaii territory.

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