Yesterday we reported on a Benelux trademark application for ‘Je suis Charlie’, the phrase adopted across the globe following last week’s mass murders at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. We concluded that trademark offices bear a significant responsibility with applications that relate to tragic incidents. Today, as further applications have come to light, offices are now wrestling with this responsibility, in one instance taking a firm stance. Concurrently, commercialisation continues apace.
The Benelux trademark was the first reported attempt to secure ownership of the phrase and, speaking to The Independent, applicant Yanick Uytterhaegen explained that he hoped “to do something to help the victims of this horrible terrorist attack” by licensing the trademark to benefit theCharlie Hebdo publication. However, the backlash that followed his move appears to have led to the withdrawal of the trademark earlier today.