Walt Disney Surrenders to Navy's SEAL Team 6
By ETHAN SMITH and JULIAN E. BARNESLess than a month after a daring raid on Osama bin Laden's secret hideout, the U.S. Navy's SEAL Team 6 notched a victory over the Magic Kingdom.
Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday that it would pull an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in which the entertainment giant sought the exclusive right to use the term "SEAL Team 6" on items ranging from toys and games to snow globes and Christmas stockings.
Disney withdrew the application "out of deference to the Navy," a spokesman said.
The move comes after comics and other critics ridiculed the Burbank, Calif., company for trying to profit off bin Laden's killing. Disney first made the claim two days after the world learned of the secret special-operations unit's daring mission into the al Qaeda leader's Pakistan compound.
"Putting a trademark on SEAL Team 6 is like copyrighting 'The guys who stormed the beach at Normandy,'" joked "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart last week. "It belongs to all of us."
Navy officers privately expressed relief Wednesday that the company had chosen voluntarily to retract its application, saving the organization from a long trademark battle.
The Navy first fired back at Disney with its own filings for trademarks on the phrases 'SEAL Team' and 'Navy SEALs,' on May 13, several days after Disney's application. Those terms denote "membership in an organization of the Department of the Navy that develops and executes military missions involving special operations strategy, doctrine, and tactics," the Navy said in its filings. The Navy had a beachhead with its longstanding trademark on "SEALs," which it has licensed for videogames, among other products.
"We are fully committed to protecting our trademark rights," Commander Danny Hernandez, the chief Navy spokesman, said Wednesday...
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