The topic for the protection of graffiti works has made the headlines in recent years. One of the possible ways this to be achieved is through the registration of trademarks.
In light of this, a recent trademark case has attracted our attention. The well-known graffiti artist Banksy has faced a cancelation procedure against his following registered European trademark in classes 2, 9, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, 27, 28, 41, 42:
The procedure was initiated by the French greeting card maker Full Colour Black on the ground of lack of a genuine trademark use.
As a reaction, Banksy announced the launching of an online store where he will sell products with its mark.
However, this is highly unlikely to succeed because all pieces of evidence have to be dated before the date of the cancelation request, otherwise, they can’t suggest any genuine market use other than just an attempt for maintaining the trademark registration.
According to the law, every trademark can be canceled if it is not used for 5 consecutive years.
This situation is quite difficult for most of the artists because although they can register a trademark, its use, in the long run, is always a challenge especially when it comes to wider scope of goods and services.
Another possible and available tool, however, can be copyright, where there are no requirements for registration.