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Disney Ditches Trademark for SEAL Team 6 Elite Military that Killed Bin Laden

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by copythat

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In The News

Strangely, Disney has quite an interest in death and the war on terrorism: The theme park giant is ditching attempts to gain trademark for SEAL Team 6--the elite U.S. Navy military unit that killed Osama bin Laden.
For now, at least, there will be no "SEAL Team 6" paraphernalia or related TV show hits for Disney.
The Walt Disney Company has withdrawn an application that was previously submitted by the company -- in attempts to officially gain trademark rights for "SEAL Team 6". SEAL Team 6 is the unofficial name for the elite military unit that took out Osama Bin Laden. Other than the almighty dollar, it remains a bit unclear why the company -- known for entertaining kids across the world -- would want to gain rights to an event involving gun fire and a dead terrorist.
A Disney company spokesman reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that the trademark application withdrawal, originally seeking legal rights to use, has been made "out of deference to the Navy." Or, perhaps more accurately, the trademark withdrawal serves as proof that even The Walt Disney Company is capable of making enemies larger than itself. The company probably isn't too keen on disturbing relationships with powerful politicians or the likes of, say, President Obama. There just may be a more important backing needed down the road.
The Walt Disney Company was seeking federal trademark rights in categories including items from toys to television shows -- the application submitted to the agency just two days following the shooting death of the terrorist Al-Qaeda leader on May 2, 2011. Reportedly, Associated Press says Disney had intent to create a TV show in the same vein as the highly-popular JAG or NCIS shows -- to be focused on the SEAL Team 6 military unit.
Disney has been surrounded by criticism and jokes related to the trademark submission -- among them, a comment by comedian Jon Stewart that likened Disney's actions to an attempt of copyrighting the “the guys who stormed the beach at Normandy” or the Statue of Liberty.
Apparently Disney has been more quick on the draw than the U.S. government: after the Disney application was submitted to the trademark office, the United States Navy began seeking copyright for terms including “SEAL Team” and “Navy SEALs.” The U.S. Navy already maintains copyright protection for the term “SEAL".
But there was some oversight on behalf of the government unit -- which apparently believes that, if it claims something doesn't exist, the rest of the nation is supposed to subscribe to that theory. Since the SEAL Team 6 military unit is supposed to be a big secret, its very existence unconfirmed by both the Defense Department and White House, the military branch didn't bother for a specific trademark on the "SEAL Team 6" terms. Oops.
After Disney has ditched its trademark efforts for the company's three separate applications, two other companies continue to battle for copyright. "Justice is Done" is trying to obtain legal rights for commemorative coins, key rings, cuff-links and wall plaques, while New-York based "M.Z. Berger" wants the copyright for clocks, watches and jewelry.

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