For the 2010 Winter Olympics, VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee) trademarked the phrase, “with glowing hearts”. Now most of you might not be Canadian so you thought “So what?” but this phrase is known to all English speaking Canadians because it is part of our national anthem. In other words, VANOC trademarked something that was in the public domain. Generously, VANOC allows Canadians to still use their national anthem as is.
I’m no trademark lawyer but doesn’t VANOC’s trademark lose some of its clout if it does nothing about possible infringements of its trademark? Like for instance Katy Perry’s use of a similar line in her song “Firework”. It goes, “like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow”. It’s not just her use of a similar phrase that is galling – she even copyrighted this song in 2010 and of course VANOC’s prime concern was in early 2010.
C’mon VANOC, send a take down notice to Youtube. Everybody and their kid sister with the least of copyright claims already has.
And then there is a recent Becel Margarine commercial. In it they use a symbol that is almost literally a glowing heart. You could say, “with glowing hearts” they made this ad. I said almost because real hearts don’t look like the universal symbol for hearts. I don’t know why VANOC isn’t being more territorial with its trademark.
Could it be that VANOC is scared because Katy Perry made a mint off her last album and can afford to defend herself vigorously in court? Or that Becel is a huge brand with tons of marketing behind them, and thus money?
Maybe VANOC is scared that trademarking something in the public domain won’t withstand a challenge. And they already pissed off 30 million Canadians, do they really want to piss off almost 300 million people who’ve watched Firework on Youtube?
On second thought, a quick inspection on Youtube failed to drum up the glowing yellow heart and that Becel ad. Perhaps VANOC is working their lawyer magic as we speak. I’m sorry Katy Perry fans for outing Firework. And then I guess I’ll be next with my glowing hearts title. The VANOC monster will bury us all.