Banksy loses trademark battle over his famous Flower Thrower image

Banksy's Flower Thrower Courtesy of Lazinc

Banksy has been stripped of the trademark of his famous Flower Thrower image after he failed to reveal his identity to judges and was found to have tried “to circumvent the law” by opening a pop-up shop in Croydon, south London last October in a bid to protect his trademarks.

The ruling by the European Union Intellectual Property Office comes after a two-year legal battle with the card company Full Colour Black, which contested Banksys trademark rights to his own name and imagery. The legal dispute prompted Banksy to open the pop-up shop in Croydon—“possibly the least poetic reason to ever hold an art show”, the Bristol street artist said at the time.

Gross Domestic Product, a homeware store that never actually opened, prominently displayed Flower Thrower in its window, while everything in the shop had been “created specifically to fulfil a particular trademark category under EU law”, Banksy said.

Banksy opened a pop-up shop in Croydon as a result of the legal dispute mage courtesy of Banksy

But it was Banksys openness about the aim of the shop that was his undoing. As the judges put it: “By their own words they admit that the use made of the sign was not genuine trade mark use in order to create or maintain a share of the market by commercialising goods, but only to circumvent the law.” Banksy had therefore “acted in bad faith”.

Banksy first applied for an EU trademark of Flower Thrower in February 2014, nine years after he first stencilled the image on a wall in Jerusalem in 2005. A year later, in 2006, Flower Thrower appeared on the cover of Banksys book, Wall and Piece, in which the artist “positively extolls the virtue of disobedience to copyright and trade mark law”, the panel says.

The judges also called into question Banksys anonymity. They said: “Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous and for the most part to paint graffiti on other peoples property without their permission ratRead More – Source