Legion tells veteran group to stop poppy use
The Royal Canadian Legion is claiming ownership of the poppy and threatening legal action against a Canadian veteran group for using it as part of their logo.
Intellectual property law firm Ridout and Maybee LLP, which represents the Legion, threatened legal action against a motorcycle group, the Canadian Veteran Freedom Riders (CVFR), September 1 if they did not remove the poppy from their logo.
A letter stated the poppy is a registered trademark and can't be used for commercial or personal use unless there is prior approval.
"The use of trademarks and other indicia incorporating the Legion's trademark 'poppy design' is occurring without the Legion's authorization," the letter read.
"We must insist that the CVFR and all of its members immediately cease all use of trademarks or other indicia incorporating the Legion's protected mark 'poppy design' and any of the Legion poppy trademarks."
Group to continue using poppy in logo
But in the face of battle, the group's president is standing pat and said the group will not remove the poppy from their logo right now.
He did say, though, CVFR will file an official request to use the poppy.
"It's a slap in the face," said Capt. Michael Blow, "I'm a veteran, I wear that poppy for remembrance, I don't wear it for profit."
The letter also said use of the poppy violates two acts, including the Trademarks Act.
A spokesman for the Legion said this rule has been around for 60 years. Every group must legitimately apply to use the poppy, which he said this group has not.
"The poppy's a strong symbol, so when you see the poppy you automatically think it's for veterans and remembrance," said Danny Martin, "Therefore, it must be legitimate all the time. But that's not the case all the time."
Martin added unscrupulous organizations are using the poppy on a consistent basis and the Legion has had to be much more active. He said if one organization is allowed to use the poppy, the flood gates would open for other groups.
Blow argued the poppy, which can only be seen as a small part of much larger logo on his biker jacket, has a very strong meaning for the group.