Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction

Royal Institution: Investigating


It’s the time of year when not much happens at universities except exams, marking exams, and meetings about exam marks – at least that’s what June means here at Imperial. So things have been a bit quiet on this side of the Royal Institution trademark business. But then things have been quiet on their end as well.

Nevertheless, a request has been put in to get a copy of the trademark application file. This is the first step towards a challenge, since at the moment we don’t know the details of what might be challenged. Current informal legal opinion from several directions remains that trademarking ‘Christmas Lecture(s)’ is very dodgy indeed.

More news, as they say, when we have it.


Author: davecl

Astronomy, science, science fiction

3 thoughts on “Royal Institution: Investigating

  1. Just received an email from the Royal Institution, which contained the following statement:

    When we originally wrote to people organising events called Christmas Lectures, we did so in the mistaken belief that we had to notify all third parties using CHRISTMAS LECTURES, in order to protect our rights. We have since realised that this is not, in fact, the case and again, we can only apologise for acting in haste without considering any possible negative response to our letter.


    So that no doubt remains: the Ri will not consider use of “Christmas Lectures” by academic establishments (or those working in or for academic establishments) for promoting lectures at Christmas time to infringe the Ri’s rights to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES trade mark. We do not wish to obstruct your promotion (or that of other educational establishments) of educational events at Christmas time and apologise for any uncertainty and aggravation our previous correspondence has clearly caused to some.

    • Interesting, and thanks for the update!

      Seems like another back pedal to me. Progress of a kind, but they give no guarantee that this new policy won’t ever be changed, and they can give no guarantee about what a future owner of the trademark might do.

      So while universities giving Christmas Lectures are free from trademark attacks in the short term, there remains a long term threat IMHO.

  2. Pingback: Five Figures! | Disturbing the Universe

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