Blog: Leonie BarrieWhat’s in a name?

Leonie Barrie | 17 February 2006

I suppose the first question is why? Why would anyone want to make – let alone wear – a ‘Binladin’ branded clothing range? Well I guess that’s just my personal opinion, but it’s comforting to see that the EU courts agree. Up till now, that is. An appeal against a decision by the EU’s Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market (OHIM) not to register the trade name in 2004 is now being challenged by Falcon Sporting Goods, the company connected to Yeslam Binladin, the half-brother of terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

The OHIM considers the trade name to be “contrary to public policy and accepted principles of morality.” It wasn’t even swayed by arguments that it has already accepted names such as Castro, Mao and Danda (short for Idi Amin Dada). Even though Yeslam Binladin deliberately spells his name differently from his half-brother there’s no doubt he’s capitalising on the family connection. We’ll have to wait for a couple of months before the European court passes its final judgment on this case, but the idea of Binladin-branded vehicles, leathergoods, sportswear and audiovisual equipment is one that would take some getting used to.

SWITZERLAND: Sportswear firm fights for Binladin name


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