Banksy trademark 'at risk' after street artist loses legal battle
Anonymous artist loses case against greeting card firm over use of Flower Thrower mural
The Guardian UK
Lanre Bakare Arts and culture correspondent
Thu 17 Sep 2020 10.21 BST
Last modified on Thu 17 Sep 2020 11.31 BST
Banksy’s trademark may be at risk after the street artist lost a case that an EU panel said was brought in bad faith and was undermined by a gift shop he set up in London last year.
Banksy lost the case against a greeting card company, Full Colour Black, which argued it should be able to use an image of the Flower Thrower stencil mural, which he painted in Jerusalem, because of the artist’s anonymity.
In 2014, Banksy’s representatives, Pest Control Office, successfully applied for an EU trademark of the Flower Thrower, but this week that was overturned after a two-year dispute.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) panel said it ruled against the artist because he could not be identified as the unquestionable owner of such works because his identity remained hidden.
“Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous and, for the most part, to paint graffiti on other people’s property without their permission, rather than to paint it on canvases or his own property,” the panel said.