I am surprised. Reviving cartoon characters is very cool lately. And if only they were revived at the carnivals! Nope, they violate the masquerade by cockily posing on the cameras. And not in the movies, as it was since 1977! We see here in Ukraine, where and when (in politics, namely).
What does George Lucas write on the boxes of his products? Are all these “registered trademarks” a fake? No, never!
The United States joined the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 1883 almost immediately: four years after its adoption. This means, firstly, that the trade mark (in the language of the Ukrainian legislation, marks for goods and services, or brands) are protected by law; secondly, are protected on the territory where they are registered for protection; and thirdly, they are not protected, where no one needs to protect them.
No protection means taking the trademark and enjoying it as anybody wishes.
Then I started to look up if darth vaders are protected on the territory of Ukraine at all. For this I have analyzed information on the keyword «darth vader» in three following databases:
- our Ukrainian Ukrpatent database;
- Romarin – worldwide database of trademarks under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization;
- TESS – federal database of trademarks in the United States.
The results were disappointing. Ukrpatent databases know neither darth nor vader. Romarin does not even know Star Wars! Facepalm.
TESS, which applies to the entire territory of the United States, fortunately, did not forget who is whose father. And even protects intellectual property rights to the “rhythmic mechanical human breathing created by breathing through a scuba tank regulator” (got it?).
So it is widely possible to use the images of unregistered trademarks in Ukraine. Especially if you register as an individual under their name. A trademark? So what! Look at France: there are millions of Peugeot-named individuals, and nobody says them that it’s a trademark. So anyone can be Vader, too.
And even if not, George Lucas does not care that someone uses the image he invented in far, far Ukraine? After all, the fair use of trademarks in USA is allowed n parodies if they are not too directly tied to commercial use. (See para. 3 of article 10, Harvard overview of trademark law).
However, you never know. I think James Bond [in Ukrainian beau monde] would have been more effective.