Who Owns The Holidays
By Hugo Tapia | 19-Dec-2022
The Holidays are finally here! But can you -or anyone else- own the moment?
The number and the variety of traditions, rituals, celebrations, and festivals that are observed every year around this time seems to be growing faster than Santa’s Naughty List. This makes it ever more difficult to establish limits and distinguish between a wide array of cultural, religious, secular, and in some cases simply commercial events.
We could say that in general, The Holiday season refers to the period that runs from late November to early January, at least among Western cultures, yet known worldwide due to globalization, social media and that annoying person who lectures you if you say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. But due to the ever-changing, fast-paced and multi-cultural world that we live in, we thought it might be a good idea to share with you some context along with some of our perspectives on these matters and how they pertain to the IP legal practice.
The current edition revolves around different multi-cultural traditions and the intersection between them and the world of Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday; Santa Clause, Père Nöel, Joulupukki or La Befana, many of these occasions and characters have become well established names often associated with products or services, and there is no shortage of attempts to capitalize on their popularity or even register and own the IP rights associated with them.
We’re not going to dig too deep into the origin and evolution of any of these festivities, however if you wish to learn more about them, there’s plenty of material available (we’ve added a few links below). We’d like instead to share with you some interesting facts in the form of news and articles that show how these religious and cultural milestones can be – and have been – treated as trademarks or copyrighted material, but also how they’ve inspired innovation and creativity, which after all, are what drive our firm and our business.
Let’s kick it off with a roundup of some of this year’s greatest innovations, according to Popular Science.
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