Lawyers acting on behalf of the University of Afpuddle were bracing themselves today after being served notice by Dorset-based international travel company TUI [Todber Unregulated Itineraries] that they intend to sue its Asbrestos Brassière, Chemise, Corset and Suspender-belt Company Ltd Institute of Mediterranean Archeology for a pre-emptive copyright infringement resulting from its publication of a symbol purporting to be Minoan but clearly, in the Corporate's view, “depicting a stylised shape which at the very least anticipates in highly suspicious detail our own familiar and much-admired award-winning logo'.
Famous for “dotting the i, crossing the t, and putting u in the middle” the Todber-based travel- and holiday-giant claims that the similarities between its trademark logo and the “allegedly Minoan” character are so striking in concept, design and execution as to make claims that they are merely coincidental "ludicrous".
Unable to refer the matter [and thereby pass the buck] back to the Minoan originators of the Linear A character [in legal terms: neque reprehendo, si me ego antiquis ie don't blame me I am ancient] the University is resigned to responding to the writ on the ancient’s behalf. A despondent University spokesperson - Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Research, Sport, Commercial Outreach, Opportunism and On-Campus Betting Professor Grantham Capricorn said: “despite our best efforts - including a free trial subscription to Ancestry.com - we have been unable to find any plausibly culpable Minoan descendants we can put in the frame in our stead. We are deeply disappointed about this as our reputation for financial probity and commercial opportunism as well as our respect for registered trademarks and copyright interests means everything to us. We never graTUItously steal anyone's trademark and intend to pass any implied blame along as soon as we can find an effective way of doing so."
In the meantime, legal expert and Branscombe LCiGB lay preacher Lex Lutheran says the case is likely to make legal history, being the first example of an attempt to prosecute an alleged anticipatory pre-emptive prospective unforseen and possibly unintended copyright infringement by an individual or collective. The fact that the Minoan culprits may have been wholly unaware of the potential for future consequential reputational damage may or may not play well with the courts. A failure to anticipate a future copyright claim is, say some lawyers, no defence though the University will be hoping that a statute of limitation may apply to a 3,000 year old case. [EDITOR'S NOTE: A hope unlikely to be fulfilled. Current estimates of CONTRIK-69-related Court backlogs suggest that some pending cases are unlikely to be settled in the next 3,000 years and any ruling in the University of Afpuddle's favour could well compromise legal and due juridical processes for the foreseeable future.]
Our Paleo-linguistic Cold Case Correspondent writes:
Interestingly, behind the legal case lies a deeper and much more interesting consideration. The Linear A character in question is one of a number recently deciphered as a result of a fortuitous archeological discovery made in Corfe Mullen Municipal Cemetery by Professor Roger Harpiece and his team. The discovery was then followed by an intensive and arduous period of forensic linguistic inquiry.
What the travel company claims is a rip-off of their trademark is in fact a symbol denoting separation or, in modern terms, "lock-down" [the downward arch pressing on what appears to be a dot or head/neck has also been claimed to depict that even in ancient times Fat Lives Mattered]. Ironically, it is the imposition of just such a lock-down which has threatened the profits of the TUI Company and damaged its business to a far greater extent than is likely from any copyright infringement. Further, the fact that the Linear A character has to be inverted to resemble the TUI logo implies that its meaning should also be inverted or antonym-ised - ie it should now be taken to mean to liberate or set free. It could be argued, therefore, that more than 3,000 years ago a civilization which had never heard of air-travel, air-bridges, face-masks, quarantine or generally "f**king the public over" not only anticipated the devastating effects of CONTRIK-69 on the tourist industry, but made linguistic provision for an expressive form of liberation from it - an inspiring "life after death" vision which sadly the Minoans never themselves experienced.*. Might it not be argued then, that the tour operators would be better off embracing the symbol and celebrating its fortuitous prescience?
* Scientists ranking major disasters from ancient times to modern have suggested that the complete destruction of the ancient world and its entire population in about 1250BC by a combination of volcanic eruption, earthquake, tsunami, nuclear winter and mass starvation ranks second in both magnitude and importance only to our own CONTRIK-69 catastrophy [12 patients infected, one reported to have a ticklish-cough and one 94 year old is said to have been unable to "go" for a period of nearly 48 hours].
The case is bound to continue, as will the pseudo-pandemic, though CONTRIK-69 easement probably won't.