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Elvis lives, in the court room

The legend of Elvis was revived in the High Court yesterday when a judge examined a bar of perfumed soap and cologne bearing the portrait and signature of the king of rock'n'roll.

Sid Shaw, owner of Elvisly Yours, which sells memorabilia of the singer from a shop in east London, is objecting to the award of three Presley trade marks for toiletries to Elvis Presley Enterprises of Memphis, Tennessee.

Richard Meade, representing Mr Shaw, told Mr Justice Laddie that Elvis was a "revered" popular singer, who died in 1977. But Elvis Presley Enterprises seemed to be conducting the case "on the hypothesis that he is still alive". The judge said: "There are those that believe he is still alive."

Mr Meade said Mr Shaw had been selling Elvis souvenirs for 20 years, but under United States law, Elvis Presley Enterprises is the successor to Elvis Presley and if the marks are registered it will stamp out Presley memorabilia from any other source in Britain.

Peter Prescott, representing the US company, said anyone buying Elvis souvenirs wanted to know they were the genuine article. Mr Justice Laddie told him: "You have come for registration when the words Elvis Presley are almost in the dictionary." Told that Mr Shaw could still use the legend "Elvisly Yours", the judge said: "Well, he would not want to call his products Idi Aminly Yours. The whole idea was to relate the product to the name of Elvis."

The hearing continues today.