Whether it is the Mike Tyson facial tattoo in the Hangover 2, or the inclusion of âNo animals were harmedâ credit in the Kingâs Speech, trademark violations can be costly and potentially devastating for a film.
Despite its 12 Oscar nominations, the film âThe Kingâs Speechâ was in the news earlier this year due to a trademark dispute with the American Humane Association. The bone of contention concerns the use of the phrase âNo animals were harmedâ in the credits.
The American Humane Association (AHA), an organization dedicated to the protection of animals, is the registered owner of a trademark, for this phrase. Since 1940, the AHA has been overseeing the use of animals in movies, TV shows and films. To perform its monitoring duties the organization typically demands script details be sent to it in advance, and requires on set access.
However, the AHA was not involved in the film âThe Kingâs Speechâ and could not oversee the featuring of several Corgis. The AHA claims that the phrase âNo animals were harmedâ has been used without the organizationâs consent and, therefore, infringes its trademark rights. It has demanded that the producer of âThe Kingâs Speechâ remove the phrase from the credits.
By now the phrase âNo animals...