Elvis trade mark appeal rejected

Sid Shaw, the owner of an Elvis memorabilia business named Elvisly Yours, has fended off an appeal by the official Elvis merchandising company Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc against a High Court decision in 1997 that the “Elvis” trade mark lacked distinctiveness and should therefore not be registered.

Enterprises argued that celebrities have an exclusive right to exploit their own characters.  Although this is the case in other countries, including the United States and many continental European countries, the Court of Appeal has roundly rejected this kind of monopoly right in the UK.  The public do not assume, when buying Elvis (or Spice Girls or Princess Diana) products, that they are buying something officially licensed and endorsed.

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