The Olympic torch is currently on a seventy day, 8,000 mile journey through Britain (+1 day in Dublin); a trip that encompasses some of the nation’s most remote locations, including the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and Lerwick in the Shetlands. Each day, jubilant, Union Jack waving crowds line the route, eager for this once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the Olympic torch passing through their community. However these Olympic festivities are under threat, not only from the ever present canopy of grey clouds and the risk of rain they pose, but also from something far more sinister, lurking in the shadows, ready to surface unannounced at any moment. This peril is trademark infringement.
LOCOG officials have had to be ever vigilant in their efforts to protect the Olympic logo and the London 2012 trademarks from a plethora of unlikely villains. Prompt action had to be taken in Plymouth, where a chef in a café in the Life Centre attempted to profit from the arrival of the Olympic torch by creating ‘Olympic breakfasts’ and ‘flaming torch breakfast baguettes’. This was not an isolated incident. At another Olympic torch location in North Devon, Webbers Estate Agents had the audacity to display Olympic rings in their windows made from Hula Hoops, in addition to a homemade torch.
Nor has this surge of Trademark sabotage been reserved only for the Olympic torch’s route. Film maker Noel Clarke was prevented from using the word ‘Olympics’ in his new film ‘Fast Girls’, about a British female sprint team, much to his chagrin. Even the very heart of London 2012 is not immune from these threats. Merely moments from the Olympic stadium in East London, action had to be taken against the Olympic café (founded in 1980). The establishment is now known as the Lympic café.
Prior to being warned about potential copyright infringement, Joy Tomkins, an eighty-one year old grandmother hailing from Kings Lynn, had planned on selling one pound dolls wearing homemade shorts and T-shirts emblazoned with both the Olympic and GB2012 logos (see picture 2). LOCOG please note that this picture has been included for the purpose of warning the public about the hazards of Trademark infringement and not because I am not in collaboration with Mrs Tomkins to profit from any potential sales of these dolls.