Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Octopus Paul ‘trade mark’ hits the headlines in Latin America

Who cannot remember Paul, who became an international sensation in the World Cup? I am mentioning here the Octopus! I thought that the name Paul became only a hit in Europe. Indeed, trade marks were applied for at national and community level in this side of the pond (click here). I was wrong.

Today I read local Latin American news that the Colombian authorities seized nearly one ton of cocaine that was marked with the ‘octopus Paul’. While it was commonly known that Paul gave accurate predictions about the football games that were played, I do not doubt that this time ‘Paul’ did also a good job.

The news also speculate that the ‘”drug traffickers would be using the symbol of the octopus to mark their cargo by way of charm”. The information also mentions that drug traffickers use different signs to mark the drug shipments. I have to say that I became aware of this watching the movie ‘American Gangster’ when Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), a drug dealer, creates a brand “Blue Magic”. Later on in the movie, Frank challenged Nicky Barnes (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), who is selling the drug also under Frank's "Blue Magic" brand. At that time, I remember asking myself, how illegal can this be? Surely, this is not a case that can be dealt by a court of law in Colombia where this market is illegal.

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