Some people just don't understand

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Some people just don't understand

Postby meteorite » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:59 pm

Legion threatens to sue P.E.I. distributor of white poppies

By Bradley Bouzane, Postmedia NewsNovember 3, 2010

The Royal Canadian Legion is considering legal action following a controversial white poppy campaign in Prince Edward Island, calling it both disrespectful and a breach of trademark.

Jim Ross, provincial president for the Legion's P.E.I. command, says the distribution of white poppies from a group called the Island Peace Committee is not only disrespectful, but likely a breach of trademark.

"The use of the poppy for anything other than remembrance is not acceptable," Ross said Tuesday of the white poppies, which are intended to represent non-violent conflict resolution.

"We don't condone this. A poppy is a registered trademark of the Legion and it's owned by Dominion Command."

Legion spokesman Bob Butt said Tuesday that action has been taken to shut down the white poppies.

"We have sent the distributors of the white poppy an email saying cease and desist . . . and if they don't, then we will consider further legal action because it is an infringement on our trademark," Butt said. "The poppy itself is trademarked by the Legion — in all colours."

Leo Broderick of the Island Peace Committee said he was "not familiar" with any trademark issues, adding that the program — which he sees as a compliment to the Legion's annual efforts — is in its third year in P.E.I.

"We don't mass produce them, we don't have a trademark on the white poppy," Broderick said. "We just produce them on white paper and distribute them and people like to wear them."

Broderick said white poppies are "a long tradition" that dates back to 1926 when women affected by war started to campaign to represent non-violent solutions.

He said the high rate of civilian casualties are a big motivation behind the white poppies.

"I don't think (it's disrespectful)," Broderick said. "Most of the people I talk to believe the red poppy symbolizes the respect we need to pay for those (soldiers) who died (in war), but the white poppy goes beyond and asks that all people who have died as a result of war be remembered."

Despite his opposition, Ross does not think the white poppies will have a negative impact on the Legion's annual drive, noting he has yet to see a white poppy on anybody's jacket.

In 2006, the Legion sent cease-and-desist orders to several retail outlets in Edmonton that were selling white poppies, citing copyright of the symbol.
November 11, 2010
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