Graffiti artist Banksy says he has been forced to open his own homeware store following a legal dispute involving a greeting cards company.
He said: “A greetings cards company is contesting the trademark I hold to my art, and attempting to take custody of my name so they can sell their fake Banksy merchandise legally.
“I think they’re banking on the idea I won’t show up in court to defend myself.”
He said: “Banksy is in a difficult position because he doesn’t produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear – if the trademark holder is not using the mark, then it can be transferred to someone who will.”
As a solution to the issue, Mr Stephens proposed that Bansky began his own range of merchandise and opened a shop.
Mr Stephens said the card company, who he refused to name, initiated the legal proceedings about 12 months ago.
Searching the European Union Intellectual Property Office at https://www.tmdn.org for BANKSY yields the following (PDF). I could not immediately see a greeting card company that has a registration, but I’ll look more closely later. Banksy does seem to be doing a good job registering the name in most/all territories and has this comment from the article too:
He added: “I still encourage anyone to copy, borrow, steal and amend my art for amusement, academic research or activism. I just don’t want them to get sole custody of my name.”
Sounds like an open-source hardware company.
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