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Don't Mess With the Lord of the Olympic Rings

The Olympics goes after fans who dare to use the symbol of the Games
“...it is unlawful to use the Olympic symbol, the London 2012 logo or the words ‘London 2012’ in the course of trade without LOCOG’s written consent. ...This means these marks cannot, for example, be used on goods ...”
“...it is unlawful to use the Olympic symbol, the London 2012 logo or the words ‘London 2012’ in the course of trade without LOCOG’s written consent. ...This means these marks cannot, for example, be used on goods ...” Photographs by Jon Stanley Austin for Bloomberg Businessweek

In May, Joy Tomkins knit a tiny white T-shirt and shorts for a doll she hoped might fetch a pound at a fundraiser in Downham Market, the town where she lives a couple hours’ drive north of London. “It looked very dour,” says the 81-year-old grandmother. So in honor of her country hosting this summer’s Olympic Games, Tomkins spruced up the outfit by embroidering it with “GB 2012” and the five rings. Then she heard on the radio that shopkeepers who put Olympic symbols in their windows were being asked to take them down. Tomkins called Trading Standards, the government agency that enforces commerce laws, and says she was warned that selling her smartly dressed doll for charity would be against the law. “The young man was fairly sad and sorry,” she remembers.

Joy Tomkins
Photograph by Jon Stanley Austin for Bloomberg Businessweek