Disney fails to 'buy' name of Bin Laden hit squad

The Walt Disney Company has confirmed that it has withdrawn its application to trademark the phrase "Seal Team 6", the name of the élite unit that killed Osama bin Laden, after the United States Navy moved to protect its rights and the entertainment giant endured a wave of criticism and jibes.

Disney sought the trademark rights on 3 May, two days after US operatives raided a compound in Pakistan and killed the mastermind of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks. Disney's ABC subsidiary wanted to develop a TV show along the lines of NCIS and JAG, which are also Navy units, and would have focused on the drama and heroism of the special forces members.

But it drew flak for its rapid filing and for a trademark application that included items like Christmas stockings and snow globes.

Comedy Central TV host Jon Stewart needled the company on The Daily Show: "I can't wait for the Happy Meal."

Navy spokeswoman Amanda Greenberg said the Navy already had rights to the Seal trademark but recently submitted two new applications for trademarks of "Navy Seals" and "Seal Team".

She said: "The Navy is fully committed to protecting its trademark rights as it pertains to this matter."

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