Santa Claus (TM)
A search of the US trademark database revealed 123 citations including the terms SANTA and CLAUS as of December 20, 2012. A handful of these citations are the exact name SANTA CLAUS. Oddly enough, these marks claimed specific protection over un-Christmaslike products such as video games, trading cards, hard cider, and live cuttings from young plants.
In Canada, the trade-mark database as of December 20, 2012 lists only 20 trade-marks using SANTA CLAUS, 3 of which are the exact name. These also cover strange products, including ornamental plants and soap.
Both Canada and the US each have legislation barring the registration of a trade-mark if it falsely suggests a connection with any living individual (in Canada this is section 9(k) of the Trade-Marks Act). Santa Claus is certainly entitled to expunge these trade-marks based on the false connection. It would appear that he has been mostly successful in ensuring that no one obtains a trade-mark registration over his most critical wares and services, including protection over toys, toy manufacturing, toy distribution, reindeer-powered avionics, red velvet suits, and hearty laughs. However, it would also appear that his solicitor has been remiss in enforcing Santa’s rights against those seeking protection for plants and soap.
Santa, if you’re reading this blog, I’d be happy to take on your case. Please bring me a 2013 convertible Aston Martin db9.