Linkin Park has failed in a bid to trademark its name for use on posters in the United Kingdom, leaving the field open for bootleggers and market traders to continue selling unofficial posters of the

LONDON -- Linkin Park has failed in a bid to trademark its name for use on posters in the United Kingdom, leaving the field open for bootleggers and market traders to continue selling unofficial posters of the California group.

Members of the band, formed in 1996, sought to trademark their name for use on posters and a wide variety of other goods, including CDs, DVDs, key rings, jewelry, clocks and watches, books and clothing.

A trademark hearings officer in London on Aug. 3 rejected the band's application, writing in its opinion that the name, when used as the subject matter of posters, "will do no more than represent a characteristic of these goods." Marks that simply denote the subject matter of the goods are excluded from protection under the U.K.'s Trade Marks Act 1994.

The trademark officer, A. J. Pike, acknowledged in his decision that Linkin Park has produced five albums, participated in several tours and is well known in the United Kingdom, where its music appeals to younger music fans. Given theband's popularity, there was likely to be a wide demand for posters bearing the group's name, he said.

"Third parties are, of course, entitled to take and exploit pictures of celebrities -- the copyright in a picture of Linkin Park belongs to the creator of it and not necessarily to the group itself," the officer wrote. "In my view the consumer, bearing in mind that it is likely to be common practice for third parties to market and trade in posters and poster books which carry the name of a music band, would not consider this mark to denote trade origin."

The officer concluded that the mark "Linkin Park" would not serve to distinguish the band's posters from other traders' posters with Linkin Park as the subject matter.

The band's trademark attorney could not be reached for comment.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print