Banksy stripped of trademarks

Anonymous street artist, Banksy, has been stripped of two more trademarks (four in total) for his works because he never intended to commercialise them when he applied for the legal protection.

Banksy had famously said 'copyright is for losers'. But that came back to bite him when was told he was acting in 'bad faith' because he had 'departed from accepted principles of ethical behaviours or honest commercial and business practices'.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office ruled that Banksy's anonymity 'hinders him from being able to protect this ... art under copyright laws without identifying himself'.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Full Colour Black, a greeting card company that sells recreations of Banksy's street artwork, convinced the EUIPO to cancel the trademarks. The two trademarks were the famous Radar Rat and Girl with Umbrella.

Banksy is represented by Pest Control Office Ltd. In a statement on their website which appears under 'Use of Images', the company says:

'You are welcome to use Banksy’s images for non-commercial, personal amusement. Print them out in a colour that matches your curtains, make a card for your gran, submit them as your own homework, whatever.

But neither Banksy or Pest Control licence the artist’s images to third parties. Please do not use Banksy’s images for any commercial purpose, including launching a range of merchandise or tricking people into thinking something is made or endorsed by the artist when it isn’t.

Saying “Banksy wrote copyright is for losers in his book” doesn’t give you free rein to misrepresent the artist and commit fraud. We checked.'

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