An icy response for British firm that tried to muscle in on Knut the much-loved polar bear
European Court of Justice rules that copyright belongs to Berlin zoo for toys, mugs and sporting goods
A battle between Berlin Zoo and a British company over the rights to sell everything from soft toys to sporting goods bearing the name of the late polar bear Knut ended today when the European Court of Justice ruled that copyright belonged to the zoo.
Animal-lovers mourned when Knut dropped dead of encephalitis in front of hundreds of tourists at Berlin Zoo in 2011, but he has lived on in stamps, mugs, postcards, sweets and dozens of other products which bring in millions of euros in revenue for the zoo.
When Knut first found fame in 2007, the zoo trademarked the name under the spelling "Knud". A British-registered firm, Knut IP Management Ltd, soon after tried to trademark the words "Knut - Der Eisbaer (Knut - The Polar Bear)", prompting objections from the zoo.
The court in Luxembourg found in favour of Berlin Zoo, in a ruling which said there was a "likelihood of confusion" among consumers who wanted to buy Knut products from the zoo.
Knut captured the hearts - and the wallets - of Germany in 2007, when his mother rejected him and Berlin Zoo announced they would put him down. After outcry, the zoo agreed that Knut would be hand-reared by zoo employee Thomas Dörflein, and hundreds of thousands turned up to watch the rugged keeper gambol with the cuddly beast.
His story then went global, with Knut appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair, gazing adoringly at Leonardo DiCaprio from his photo-shopped perch on an iceberg.
But Knut's star had already started to tarnish at the time of his death. Like many young prodigies, critics said he had grown up to crave attention. One keeper called him a "publicity-addicted psycho" and said he would howl with rage if he did not have a crowd of admirers.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
First full-length look is finally here
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£29000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: PSV/PCV Mechanics & HGV mechani...
£12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...
£120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...