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Disney Surrenders to Navy on 'SEAL Team 6' Trademark

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 27, 2011 6:46 AM

In a bid to uh, respect the Navy, Disney has decided to drop its application for the SEAL Team 6 trademark, laying to rest its dreams of memorializing the top secret unit via the mass production of tacky Christmas ornaments and snow globes.

Even though the purveyor of cartoon mice could have potentially won in a courtroom showdown, after suffering through NCIS: Los Angeles, be thankful that this decision will likely save you from yet another Navy-centered drama.

For those not up on the latest terrorist-killing lingo, SEAL Team 6 is the unofficial name of the special ops unit responsible for taking down Osama bin Laden.

Two days after the team declared its mission accomplished, Disney filed a SEAL Team 6 trademark application, indicating that it wanted to use the name to produce an awful TV show, toys, video games, clothing, and pretty much anything that could be outfitted with a logo.

The Navy followed up 10 days later, requesting trademarks for "Navy SEALs" and "SEAL Team," reports Fox News. They, too, plan to sell useless merchandise, like posters and clothing.

Technically, because Disney filed its application prior to the Navy, it has first rights to the SEAL Team 6 trademark.

However, this right is not absolute. The common law trademark rights of a third party that has widely used the same or a similar trademark in commerce can oftentimes trump official applications.

In other words, because the Navy is the Navy and is known for the SEAL terminology, even if Disney did make the first move on the Seal Team 6 trademark, it only had a 50-50 chance of winning the dispute.

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