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Disney Seek Trademark Registration for Abbottabad 'Navy Seal' Hit Squad

Thursday May 19, 2011 at 3:54pm
The Walt Disney Co. has applied for a trademark on the name "Seal Team 6," the actual name of the unit of Navy SEALs that took out Osama bin Laden in the recent Abbottabad raid.

The decision to seek a trademark registration for this mark would appear to denote an intent on the part of Disney to exploit the SEAL TEAM 6 trademark for a range of products including entertainment and education services, clothing, toys and games.

There are commercial precedents for the protection of war atrocity and combat site names at trademarks but it can be a difficult road to tread and has, in the past, invoked a lot of adverse publicity and public outcry.

Sony thought it was a great idea in 2003 after the bombing of Iraq to seek trademark registration for the famous "shock and awe" tag for use as the title of a video game but later the application was allowd to lapse.

Another example is Konami's controversial 'Six Days in Fallujah' videogame, which is also currently the subject of a US trademark registration application. This trademark application has been the subject of much public criticism and many called for the video game to be banned.

Forbes quotes Tim Collins OBE, a former colonel famed for an eve-of-battle speech in 2003: "It's much too soon to start making video games about a war that's still going on, and an extremely flippant response to one of the most important events in modern history," he said. "It's particularly insensitive given what happened in Fallujah, and I will certainly oppose the release of this game."

Clearly, war has been peddled by the children's toys industry for years but it is a matter of corporate conscience whether so much commercial capital should be made out of such recent military and terrorist incidents whilst they are so vivid in the public imagination.

The trademark registration by DIsney Corporation would appear to suggest that they are keeping their options open on this one.
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