The Walt Disney Company has dropped its efforts to trademark the term SEAL Team 6. The Navy had objected to Disney’s plans to market products based on the name of the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden, and filed its own trademark claims to block Disney.
The Wall Street Journal has the debrief:
Disney withdrew the application “out of deference to the Navy,” a spokesman said.
The move comes after comics and other critics ridiculed the Burbank, Calif., company for trying to profit off bin Laden’s killing. Disney first made the claim two days after the world learned of the secret special-operations unit’s daring mission into the al Qaeda leader’s Pakistan compound. …
The Navy first fired back at Disney with its own filings for trademarks on the phrases ‘SEAL Team’ and ‘Navy SEALs,’ on May 13, several days after Disney’s application. Those terms denote “membership in an organization of the Department of the Navy that develops and executes military missions involving special operations strategy, doctrine, and tactics,” the Navy said in its filings.
According to sources, Disney just wanted to lock up the name for use in a JAG-style TV show, but the company’s filing sought the rights to sell everything from toys to snow globes based on the SEALs.
While the Navy filed trademark claims for a number of SEAL-related terms, it left out “SEAL Team 6,” since, officially, the elite team doesn’t even exist. “We certainly would not request a trademark on a SEAL team that doesn’t exist, like SEAL Team 6,” a Navy spokesman told the Journal. Does that mean we still might be able to get a snow globe?