Banksy at risk to lose his brand? + video
The British artist lost a lawsuit against a greeting card company that wanted to use an image from his Flower Thrower mural. For the European authorities, Banksy is not considered the clear owner of his works because of his anonymity, reports the Guardian.
Does Banksy own his works and brands? Nothing is less certain, according to the Guardian: the British artist has indeed lost a lawsuit against a greeting card company, Full Color Black, which argued that it should be able to use an image of the Flower Thrower stencil mural, that Banksy had painted in Jerusalem, due to the artist's anonymity.
In 2014, Banksy's representatives filed for a European trademark for Flower Thrower, but this request was rejected on Monday, September 14, after a two-year dispute.
According to the Guardian, the European Union Intellectual Property Office ( EUIPO ) said it refused to grant a trademark to the artist because the artist "could not be identified as the clear owner" of his works, his identity remaining hidden.
A brand that he does not operate himself
"Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous and often tby painting graffiti on other people's property without their permission, rather than painting it on canvas or his property," EUIPO said.
In October 2019, Banksy had opened a shop in Croydon, in south London, to challenge the company Full Color Black the right to "legally sell its fake Banksy merchandise".
According to the British daily, this worsened his case with the European authorities. The latter considered that Banksy was selling "unusable and offensive" merchandise in this store, including disco balls "made from used police riot helmets."
For EUIPO, the artist did not intend to exploit the Flower Thrower brand to sell goods but "to circumvent the law" and prevent Full Color Black from using it.
This makes Aaron Mills, lawyer for the greeting card editor interviewed by the specialized site World Trademark Review, say that the judgment could mean that other brands of Banksy are concerned:
If there is no intention to use the mark, then it is invalid. In reality, all of Banksy's brands are at risk." © Courrier International Video to trailer : Banksy and the rise of an outlaw