Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Zero Tolerance: New IP Edition!!

Following arrests across six states and a three year investigation, the notorious Mongols motorcycle gang faced a new and unexpected penalty: loss of trademark:

"U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper granted an injunction requested by prosecutors that prohibits gang members, their family members and associates from wearing, licensing, selling or distributing the logo.

"If a Mongol is wearing a vest or jacket bearing the Mongols patch, that item is pursuant to seizure based on this order," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Welk.

It is believed to be the first case in the nation in which the government has sought to take control of a gang's identity — via its logo — through a court order."
- AP

Now call me a worrywart, or at least a "Yes, Minister" fan, but this reeks of 'thin end of the wedge' to me.

Seriously - how long before the government seeks to seize IP control of "Dissident Works" created by "Enemy Artists" in the name of Public Safety?

Is this not yet another example of how gross and distorted the Limited Artistic Work Monopoly has become in the era of Intellectual Property?

First the government spends decades in collusion with the copycartels, making Copyright more sacrosanct than private property, and now it strips trademarks as a tool of law enforcement, as if a logo were a Cadillac stuffed with locoweed nabbed at the border?

And who granted a criminal enterprise Trademark protection in the first place? That's right...

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