The BBC has come under fire this week after it has been accused of trade mark infringement in its new women's sport promotion.
The promotion in question depicts the image of British athlete, Dina Asher-Smith, taking a lead against other sprinters on an athletics track with the wording 'SLAY IN YOUR LANE' emblazoned across the image. The BBC promotion, which is part of the #changethegame campaign, is aimed at highlighting and celebrating the increased amount of women's sport being shown on TV over the summer.
The campaign has, however, raised some eyebrows after the BBC was called out for trade mark infringement over it. In 2018, Yomi Adegoke, released her co-authored bestselling book, 'Slay in your Lane; The Black Girl Bible'. The book was about young black women finding success in work, education, and other parts of life. Upon the promotion being released, Adegoke took to Twitter to call out the BBC for ripping off the trade marked book title. Adegoke then surmised why the BBC had used the name of the book without permission, alleging the BBC had "arrogantly" assumed it wouldn't have been trade marked and that it would have thought its use was in some way a complement to the authors.
The BBC has since told World Intellectual Property Review in a statement, that it was advised that its use of the slogan would be acceptable as it is "far removed" from the goods and services covered under the registered 'SLAY IN YOUR LANE' mark. Given the mark in question is registered against classes 25 (clothing, footwear and headwear) and class 35 (advertising, business management, office functions) it is unclear as to why the BBC thought its use of the mark in an advertising campaign was safe.
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