20th dec, 2009

Holy IP!

In this article from the Catholic News Agency it is stated that the Vatican has declared that “the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff (his name, his picture or his coat of arms), and/or the use of the title “Pontifical”, must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See.”

This makes me wonder…is it only the current pope that is covered (actually the text seem to indicate that its all the popes) in which geographical areas and what kind of right is invoked? I haven´t been able to find a trademark for the pope so it must be some kind of “natural” trademark or copyright. Of course official photos are covered by copyright, but what if you use your own picture of the pope? In Denmark there is a right to your own picture to some degree, which probably could be used by the Pope. The coat of arms of the Vatican is probably a well known mark although not a trademark in the commercial sense.

But even if the Pope has the supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the Holy See and the State of the Vatican City what about ouside the pretty small Vatican state? Actually an interesting question.

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