Canadian Olympic Committee Own Rights to Combinations of "Winter", "Vancouver", "2010", "Games"

Mon, 5 Mar 2007 13:52:00 EST

In an attempt to stop so called ambush marketing during the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Government of Canada is passing a new set of laws, Bill C-47, which give the International and Canadian Olympic Committees powerful rights in controlling the use of its trademarks, and even words generically descriptive of the Olympics. Michael Geist wonders if the measures are too strong. In his own words, "Should the Vancouver Olympic Organizers Own 'Winter'?"

Simply put, Bill C-47 would give the Olympics the sole rights to the use of combinations such as '2010 Gold' or 'Medals Whistler' among others.

"While it is understandable that the Olympic organizers want to maximize the marketing potential of the games, the bill raises several concerns.

First, as David Fewer of CIPPIC notes, the organizers already have trademark and copyright law at their disposal, which begs the question of whether additional legislation is necessary.

Second, if a new law is needed, there are concerns that this bill may be overbroad and limit freedom of speech by curtailing criticism and parody of the Olympics ... "


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