News / Toronto

Vancouver Dyke March organizers upset with Toronto Pride’s trademark

Organizers of the Vancouver Dyke March reacted in outrage this weekend after receiving news that Pride Toronto has moved to trademark the name of the event.

In a statement released Saturday evening, Vancouver Dyke March President Catherine Mateo called the move an “overtly hostile attempt to demand licensing fees and impose conditions on Dyke Marches.”

Mateo told Metro that she became aware of the situation when someone in Toronto sent her a link to Pride Toronto’s trademark application.

“I was really shocked,” Mateo said over the phone. “No one’s ever tried to trademark this term.“

The name of the lesbian-led event is used widely in cities across North America.

Toronto Pride Executive Director Mathieu Chantelois told Metro that the organization’s move to trademark the term is actually a protective measure.

“It’s not as bad as it looks,” he said.

Chantelois said it was brought to his attention last week that a person was raising funds in order to trademark the terms “Trans* Pride” and “Dyke March” independently.

“She was rallying people around, trying to find the money,” he said. “The last thing we want is for these things to be in the hands of one person with one agenda. The fastest way for us to block this was to call and trademark both of them.”

Pride Toronto released a statement to address the concerns of the Vancouver Dyke March, claiming trademarks are only temporary.

“Over the next few days, our organization will work with lawyers to remove the applications for trademarks by Pride Toronto, and to further explore options to ensure these events and names remain free from any kind of ownership by individuals or organizations.”

Chantelois said Pride Toronto has no desire to own the name and they will do nothing to prevent other organizations from using it.

Chantelois declined to name the individual who allegedly attempted to register the terms.

The Vancouver Dyke March will take place on Saturday, Aug.1.

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