Banksy’s identity could finally be revealed due to a legal dispute with greeting card company, Full Colour Black.
The European Union’s Intellectual Property Office ruled recently that Banksy could not simultaneously remain anonymous and hold a trademark, reports state. Here’s a little back story…
When Full Colour Black argued that Banksy had no intention of using his/her trademarked design of a protestor throwing a bouquet, Banksy launched a shop — but that response didn’t go over well with judges who ruled… “The use, which was only made after the initiation of the present proceedings, was identified as use to circumvent the requirements of trademark law and thus there was no intention to genuinely use the sign as a trademark. Banksy was trying to use the sign only to show that he had an intention of using the sign, but his own words and those of his legal representative, unfortunately undermined this effort.”
“The attorney for Full Colour Black told the WTR [World Trademark Review] that the ruling could have severe repercussions for the artist’s other trademarks in the EU and the US and that, ‘in fact, all of Banksy’s trademarks are at risk as all of the portfolio has the same issue.’ The judges decided that ‘he cannot be identified as the unquestionable owner of such works as his identity is hidden.’”
“Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous and for the most part to paint graffiti on other people’s property without their permission, rather than to paint it on canvases or his own property,” the judges added in their ruling. It looks like Banksy might be forced to reveal his/her identity in order to hold the trademark. Thoughts?