Blog: Wal-Mart forces a smile

Catherine Sleep | 4 July 2006

The smiley face... I’ve always considered it a universal symbol of goodwill, light heartedness and cheer. Wince-inducingly cheesy but useful and uncontroversial. Think again! Wal-Mart wants to trademark it, and is prepared for a fight.

Trouble is, someone else got there first. French company SmileyWorld own the rights in more than 80 countries and has already successfully fought off a trademark case from AOL. Owner Nicolas Loufrani is prepared to take on the might of Wal-Mart, which uses the symbol to highlight its low prices, to protect commercial rights to the little symbol he claims to have registered first.

I really feel it’s a bit silly to bother the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over this. It’s a smiley face, and kids have been drawing them with their first set of crayons since time began. Or since crayons began, anyway. But then Nike got its ‘tick’ logo trademarked and how long have ticks been around?

SmileyWorld


BLOG

Fyffes to face Ethical Trading Initiative disciplinary committee

A year after union officials alleged Fyffes abused workers on plantations in Central America - and called on the produce giant to be kicked out of the Ethical Trading Initiative forum - the company is...

BLOG

Could 3G Capital's next move be in foodservice?

Much of the chatter about where 3G Capital could look next has centred on packaged food - but might the private-equity fund be about to extend its foodservice empire?...

BLOG

Safety allegations could tarnish Mead Johnson's reputation

Headlines that Mead Johnson's board has backed Reckitt Benckiser's takeover bid will no doubt overshadow the other news on the group this week – that it is facing a US lawsuit from a “whistle blower” ...

BLOG

The list of UK's top five grocers has a new member

Kantar Worldpanel issued its monthly supermarket share data in the UK this morning - and the numbers showed a change in the identity of the country's top five food retailers....

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?