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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Patricia Covarrubia

How explicit a logo can be?

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Checking the Peruvian newspaper La Republica, I encountered with the recent registration (No 618011-2015) of the word mark ‘Guti’  and its respective logo in Class 10 of the Nice classification system (including in particular: hygienic rubber articles). The registration refers to condoms under the sub-title product. Now so far so good….but wait…who is Guti? What is the logo?

Image result for guti condom
Guty Carrera is a famous Peruvian model who has participated in modelling for underwear labels; he also has participated in reality tv shows, and even took part in a campaign celebrating the International Condom Day aiming to encourage the responsible use of condoms reducing sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. He is renowned as a love rat and his lovers claim that he is ‘gifted’, alluding to his manhood. Then, appreciating Guty’s story we acknowledge the clever use of the ‘t’ in the logo.

The analysis comes towards Art 135 of Decision 486 CAN referring to signs that are not capable of been registered. In this case Art 135(p) refers to signs that are contrary to public order and morality. Is the logo against morals? This simple question open a Pandora box: who can actually determine if a sign breaches the public order and morality clause? Should it be a centralized definition of what is to be caught under this bar? In reality we open the debate:  what is considered to be profane or vulgar? The beauty of this blog is that we come from different backgrounds, religion, sexual orientations, ages (and eras) and what can be moral to me, it may be vulgar to you (or vice versa).

The logo

Is the logo vulgar? Offensive? Objectionable? One need to analyse who will be expose to the logo.  While the logo may contain quite a ‘graphic’ representation, it may be approved (as it was). Q&A go in the line that children and elderly are not the target market; they are not sold in toys shops; tv advertisements would be limited. A mere offence to a section of the public cannot be enough to bar a sign from registration. It has to be something that causes outrage, or it is considered by the society that it is against social values. In this case, the logo has sexual implications but it works for the goods applied for. A different story would be if the logo is for clothing, don’t you agree?

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia