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Mark of a princess

发布时间:2019-03-08 06:15:03来源:未知点击:

By Barry Fox DIANA, Princess of Wales, could make legal history from beyond the grave. The executors of her will are attempting to trademark a virtual reality model of her face to prevent Diana’s image being used on unauthorised goods. But critics say the move could set a far-reaching legal precedent that would let celebrities stop anyone using pictures of them. Instead of relying on a few photos of the late princess for a trademark, Diana’s estate has filed 52 photographs, in a wide variety of poses. When digitised and fed into a computer graphics system, the photographs can be used to create a virtual reality model of her face. The Diana Memorial Fund originally filed British trademark application 2149520, to secure rights to this virtual image, but later the fund transferred the application to the executors of her will: Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd, her sister Sarah McCorquodale and Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London. If registration of the proposed trade mark is allowed, Diana’s estate and the memorial fund will be able to stop anyone in Britain using any likeness of the Princess unless they pay royalties. But to qualify for registration, a mark must be distinctive and distinguish the owner’s goods and services from another’s. No one has previously tried to claim protection on broad appearance. A striking picture of racing car driver Damon Hill’s eyes staring through a visor has been successfully registered in Britain, but it does not cover other images of Hill. The Trade Marks Registry says it must apply the same legal tests to Diana’s face that it would to any other application and warns that no one should bank on a speedy resolution. There is no time limit on a trademark application: it took 10 years of legal argument before the registry recently allowed trademarks for Stilton cheese. Concerned over the criticism of the precedent the trademark could set, Diana’s estate has just told Lawrence Graham, the legal practice handling its application,