Nov 17, 2022

Banksy's Monkeys Back to Business

Back in May 2021, we reported on the European Union Intellectual Property Office's ("EUIPO") decision to declare Banksy’s well-known “monkey sign” trade mark “invalid in its entirety” following opposition to the mark by the company "Full Colour Black". That decision was made on the basis of bad faith and lack of distinctiveness. However, after a lengthy appeal battle, the European Union Board of Appeals has overruled the EUIPO decision, thus rendering the mark registered and valid.

The mark in question consists of an image of three identical monkeys each with a sign over its shoulders that reads “Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge” and was first spotted in Brighton back in 2002. Banksy has included the image in many of his works since. The mark was originally applied for and initially registered in the name of Pest Control Limited, a tactic suspected to keep Banksy’s identity hidden.

The effect of the initial EUIPO’s decision being overturned means that the mark will return to being registered and Banksy’s rights in respect of the mark are protected as a trade mark.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com .

in: EU/International, Legal News, News, Trade Marks

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