Prince Harry has done plenty of things to raise eyebrows, but one that made us go ‘awwwww’ was his establishment of the Invictus Games.
Harry (we’re on a first names basis) started an international sporting event to raise money for injured servicemen and women, with the competitors being those same injured servicemen and women. Pretty impressive, hey.
As part of his plans to promote and fundraise for the games, Harry is trying to trade mark the ‘Invictus’ name across Europe.
Before we get into the details, we’re cheering for Harry. Harry should win gold on this one, if only because he’s a prince. However, we see one problem for him . . .
Other companies who already hold registered trade marks, such as Invictus (for outdoor equipment), Invictus (for firearms), Invictus (for clothing) and Invictus (for lighting and heating) are all likely to challenge Harry’s attempted registration.
Generally, you can only protect your trade mark in relation to the categories of goods or services for which you have it registered. There used to be a dodgy hotel, and there still is a very nice restaurant, in Sydney called "Marque". We’re able to use the name for our law firm because no one’s going to get confused between those businesses and ours.
So, applying the rule to Harry.
Outdoor equipment and a sporting event, unlikely.
Firearms and a sporting event, even more unlikely.
But, a sporting event and clothing . . . not so simple.
The reason for this is that Harry wants to sell memorabilia to the Invictus Games. T-shirts, hats, shorts, socks, hoodies and water bottles (check it out: http://www.themerchandisingshop.co.uk/shop/shop/product_list.php?&shopid=591).
Although the Invictus Games themselves won’t be confused with clothing, if Harry tries to label any clothing with the event’s name, then that’s a different story. The potential for confusion is obvious. Invictus the clothing company may get in the way or demand quite a bit of cash to allow the registrations to coexist.