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People Are Trying to Trademark 'Cecil the Lion' for Profit

Four trademark applications were filed to the US Patent and Trademark office, because outrage makes for some damn good business.
August 4, 2015, 4:40pm

Photo: Terry Johnston/Flickr

All aboard the grief/outrage-mongering train! Four trademark applications were filed on July 30 with the United States Patent and Trademark office under Cecil the Lion's name. Those applications were for "CECIL THE LION," "KING CECIL," "CECIL THE LION" (again), and just "CECIL."

They were registered by Ty Inc., the makers of Beanie Babies, Exclusive Adventures, Inc, a travel agency based in Santa Monica, and i-Star Entertainment, a toy company that's not known for much aside from wanting to capitalize off of One Direction's meteoric rise to fame by selling plush toys of the band's members.

All the applications were filed for paraphernalia: T-shirts, stuffed animals, charms, conservation fundraising services, and home decor—so yes, I'd imagine there'll be some lion bedspreads on the market soon enough.

The hype might very well pass by the time those trademark registrations go through, however. There's a lengthy legal process that involves a lot of back and forth for appeals that can take on the order of months, perhaps going up to a year to get past the patent office. Not only that, but the applications above won't even be looked at by an attorney until three months later.

So rest easy for now. The lion may make its rounds through the media, but these companies may get their chance to immortalize him soon enough. Not that they haven't already started, anyway.