Olympics bill creates special case trademark law

A Globe and Mail article by Patrick Brethour includes:

Canada's Bill C-47 came into force on Friday, creating two classes of trademark law: one for most of the corporate world, and one for the business of the Olympics.

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Actually it's a third class.

There always has been two classes. This now creates a third.

The second class, (or perhaps I should say first class because of its breadth) is something called an "Official Mark". Unlike a standard trademark which covers only a protected phrase or symbol in a specific market, an official mark is protected for any and all uses. As far as I can tell these olympic marks are even one better than an official mark, since it is not just the mark owner who can sue, but others who have licensed that mark as well.

In Death By Copyright, I noted one of the significant abuses of Official Marks was for the protection of Anne of Green Gables, which while now theoretically is in the public domain, you would be pretty hard pressed to make use of without official sanction by the AGGLA.

I think the VANOC could have registered an official mark and received almost the same degree of protection with less fuss. I think they would have been eligible to do so.

Not that that would have really been any more pleasant than the current circumstance mind you.