« Fashionable Fisticuffs | Main | Truth & Beauty »

Mark o' the Irish

University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish trademarkThinking about honoring your Celtic heritage -- or perhaps just borrowing a bit of the luck o' the Irish -- by incorporating a shamrock into your trademarks or designs?  Think again, at least if you plan to market your goods in Ireland. 

According to the Irish Patents Office:

Any person who wishes to obtain registration of a trade mark containing a State emblem (harp, shamrock) or to use a State emblem in connection with any business must first obtain consent from the Minister.

Just a simple bit of green tape?  Not exactly.  The guidelines go on to state, "Authorisation to use the shamrock is restricted to goods or services of Irish origin." 

A thought for the fashion buffs out there:  Would British designer Charles James and his famous 1953 "four-leaf clover gown" have been affected by this rule, had it been in force?  Presumably the law wouldn't have reached that far, since only the outline of the hem formed a shamrock -- and, besides, his own rather nondescript name for the gown was "Abstract."

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!