Whilst the stories involving the Royal family often make the news it is quite rare (as noted here regarding SHOULD’VE) for the mere fact of a UK trade mark registration to make the mainstream news. However, last week there was a note in the Metro newspaper and in The Courier about an interesting trade mark registration involving royalty. The articles noted the recent registration of aspects of the identity of Mary Queen of Scots and touched on some of the interesting points around trade mark registration of famous names, royal names and royal imagery.
In this case a firm from Kinross (which has a connection to Mary Queen of Scots due to her imprisonment there in 1567) has used Mary Queen of Scots imagery in relation to a range of products including whiskey, jam, beer. One of the images registered (link to IPO page) is according to the article a specifically designed coin style image of the queen bearing the Latin name Maria Regina Scotia. The article notes there were several “legal” hoops to go through including, in this case, an issue surrounding the name of the applicant company – Mary Queen of Scots Enterprises (Kinross) Limited – which had required permission from the Scottish government. As UK practitioners know, there are also specific provisions in the UK Trade Marks Act relating to the registrability of marks involving the royal arms, flags and the royal family.