Strange overtones sometimes accompany intellectual property.
Usually businesses register trade marks to promote their goods.
In this case a Russian company filed a trade mark application
for a trade mark Kennedy's Assassin in class 41 (production and
distribution of motion pictures).
The applicant explained that he wanted to shoot a movie
under that title. It was clarified to him by the Patent Office
that the title of a movie and a trade mark are different
things. Anyway the examination procedure continued and after a
year the Patent Office refused to register the trade mark. It
was argued in the rejection that the claimed designation has a
semantic meaning which contradicts the public interest.
Notwithstanding, the applicant did not see anything
objectionable in the designation and appealed the official
action at the Chamber of Patent Disputes in November 2013. He
argued that the designation was the title of a motion picture
he wanted to make telling the biography of Lee Harvey Oswald.
The purported aim for which the trade mark should be registered
was to advertise the film under that title. He also argued that
there were other similar designations registered as trade marks
(which is not correct because the only trade mark which could
be found was The Thirst Killer which has a different
The Chamber of Patent Disputes was not convinced and
rejected the appeal. In doing so it also reminded the applicant
that the registration would contravene the public interest.
Besides, and it is rather strange and off the mark, the Chamber
delved into history and invoked "social responsibility"
prescribed by various religious norms: according to Moses Law
the person who struck another person to death should also be
killed. Blood of the killed person desecrates the earth and
expiation of guilt is possible by the blood of the killer
Another part of the Chamber's decision was closer to the
ground: it stated that the applicant did not provide documents
showing that he was engaged in producing and distributing
films. The Chamber also explained that copyright and trade
marks are different subject matters.
Leaving aside intellectual property, one could hardly
imagine that consumers would queue up for the goods under such
a trade mark, be it films or otherwise. Indeed the workings of
the human mind are a mystery.
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