Oh Canada: Country to Trademark Winter

Another Moment of Olympic 'Glory'

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I was all set to fly into outrage this morning. After reading this New York Times Story, I thought: If, in the future, the International Olympics Committee, Olympic sponsors and Olympic host countries ever try to pinpoint the exact year that viewers simply shrugged them and their efforts off as the maneuvering of a bunch of money-at-any-cost fools, this could be it:

With little fanfare, the Canadian government recently introduced legislation that breaks with conventional trademark law and would grant the Vancouver organizing committee rights to "winter" and a long list of other common words, among them: "gold," "silver," "medals," "sponsor," "games," "21st," "2010," as well as the name of the host city itself. The legislation would also give the committee special enforcement powers.

This is an attempt to prevent ambush marketers from hurting sponsors. Turns out though, that this is common practice: "Other countries, including Britain, have passed similar legislation. But in Canada the plan has met with criticism from those who dislike the notion of common words becoming private property, even temporarily."

I'm going to have to go with the disgruntled Canadians on this one.