At Marks & Clerk, we couldn't be more excited to see that the official Platinum Jubilee emblem has now been unveiled. The emblem will be used for all official merchandise commemorating The Queen's Platinum Jubilee across digital and social media, and its big reveal is an important early step towards the four-day celebration in June 2022 commemorating Her Majesty The Queen's remarkable 70 years as Monarch. The celebrations will have huge international exposure, and the emblem will be recognised as a hallmark of ‘Britishness' that resonates not just in the UK, but throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. Furthermore, the Jubilee is expected to generate an additional GBP 1 billion revenue for the UK, a boost which will be particularly welcome to businesses following the turbulent times of 2020-1.
Although the official Jubilee weekend is still ten months away, retailers will already be giving thought to souvenir and commemorative merchandise to mark this historic occasion. Given the exposure the celebrations will have, it's important for businesses to be aware of what they can and cannot do. Detailed information has already been published detailing how the Platinum Jubilee emblem should be used. This supplements the existing guidelines from The Lord Chamberlain's office, provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1994, and guidance from the ASA, all aimed at ensuring that souvenir merchandise accurately depicts Royal patronage or “official” status. It is likely that special additional guidelines will be published in the weeks to come, and we anticipate these will relax the rules around royal emblems for a limited time, specifically for Jubilee souvenirs.
Trade mark applications can also be fraught with difficulty for those who do not have an official connection to the celebrations. Retailers applying to register representations of Royal arms, crowns and the Union Jack will encounter objections at the UK Intellectual Property Office, and there will be similar problems for applications containing names of Royal Family members, or illustrations of royal palaces and residences. Even the word ROYAL can be tricky to register as part of a trade mark, depending on the goods or services covered in the application. Early professional advice is essential to avoid the wasted costs of a refused application.
Marks & Clerk has an extensive track record in advising clients on branding issues around events of international significance, including the wedding of TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games in London in 2012. Watch this space as we roll out additional content to help advise retailers to navigate this complex space.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.