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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Logos are forever

A famous watchmaking company and a jeans-making company are at loggerheads in Wellington -- over a Greek letter.

Yes, it's Omega.

Everyone knows Omega watches.  James Bond wore one.  But perhaps most are unaware of jeans company Guru Denim.

Guru Denim went to the High Court in Wellington, New Zealand, to appeal against a decision from the commissioner of trademarks, which said that Guru Denim was not allowed to use the Greek letter Omega to advertise its products, even though they propose to turn the letter upside down.

Omega itself is only worried about jewelry -- but that is a bigger category than you might imagine.  It includes watches, naturally, but encompasses clocks and sundials, too.  And the issue raised by their intellectual property lawyer is that the fact that the letter is upside down on Guru Denim products does not relate, as jewelry, by its nature, is often viewed upside down, meaning that the omega would appear the right way up.

It's a matter of eternal fascination, is it not, that lawyers can make their money in very strange ways.  And how strange, too, that a jean company should be producing jewelry!

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