This news item on Reuters and the BBC recently caught my eye. This concerned a trade mark dispute between in Switzerland between the Swiss Government and a Swiss watch maker over the right to register (and use) the term SWISS MILITARY for watches. This does not appear to impact on the more famous (in the UK) “Swiss Army” brand pocket knives produced by the unrelated Victorinox AG. Interesting to the general reader who might not have thought about armed forces getting revenue from their “brands” is the Swiss government’s comment that this decision “strengthened its ability to protect its brands such as Swiss Army, Swiss Military and Swiss Air Force, from being commercially exploited”.

Closer to home, the UK and the EUTM all have various restrictions on what national / royal or other protected emblems can be registered as trade marks by third parties.