Andrew Turner, the Island’s MP, has welcomed the news that the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOGOC) has backed down from their threat to sue an Island entrepreneur who is using the year ‘2012’ in her company name.
Whippingham resident Julie Benson, founder of The Great Exhibition 2012 which will showcase the best of British Arts and Industry next year was threatened with legal action by LOGOC under the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Act 2006, because they claimed that the term ‘2012’ is now ‘widely used in the UK’ as a reference to the London Olympic Games and they must protect their sponsors rights to ‘exclusively use Games related terminology’.
Julie Benson was told yesterday that LOCOG would take no further action only hours after Mr Turner raised the issue in the House of Commons. To laughter from MPs Mr Turner joked during Business Questions that he wanted reassurance from the Leader of the House, Sir George Young MP, for ‘Julie Benson, and printers of diaries and calendars everywhere—that the Act does not confer on LOCOG exclusive rights to any number or date’. He also asked the Leader of the House to confirm that Members of Parliament would not have to rely on Parliamentary Privilege in order to talk about next year. Sir George Young responded that although he agreed with Mr Turner that there was no monopoly on 2012, he did not want to get involved in a legal dispute between companies.
Mr Turner commented:
“Julie recently told me about her plans to promote the best of Britain next year and it was clear that it was nothing to do with the Olympic Games. I was astounded at the letter from LOGOC. Of course they can protect their logos and trademark but to claim that in some way they own the rights to use the term 2012 is quite simply ridiculous. I am glad they have backed down but what is worrying that they were threatening a small business with this action anyway. By chance I yesterday received an e-mail from Farnborough International Airshow 2012 – I am not a gambling man but I would be willing to bet that they haven’t threatened them with legal action!
“ The e-mail withdrawing their threat of legal action is also quite extraordinary – among other things it ‘clarifies’ that Julie can use the words ‘endurance, motivation, spirit or endeavour’ as part of her business and that she can make ‘references’ to the year 2012. I will be following this up with them.”
Julie Benson said :
‘I want to thank Andrew for acting on my plight and supporting me. It is a triumph for the Island and for the little people. After an emotional half-hour conversation with LOGOC yesterday I didn’t think I would get through all this and all my work would have been for nothing. Seeing Andrew speak up for me in the House of Commons made me realise that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things’.