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Company Tries to Register Defective Olympic Logo as Trademark

The botched opening of the Olympic Rings at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

A Russian businessman has applied to secure trademark rights for a likeness of the defective Olympic rings, made famous after a technical mishap at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games.

Dmitry Medvedev — no relation to the Russian prime minister — has filed an application with the patents office to allow his construction company, Miroviye Shedevry, or World Masterpieces, to be able to use four full rings and one closed ring as a trademark, RBC Daily reported Thursday.

The image gained notoriety during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, when only four of five "snowflakes" opened to display the Olympic logo, and Medvedev was quick to spot a marketing opportunity.

World Masterpieces, which specializes in the construction of luxury cottages and pools, has already started an advertising campaign using the symbol, but wanted to "insure themselves against possible claims from the Olympic committee," Medvedev said.

The application process will take a minimum of 12 months, during which time World Masterpieces will be able to continue using the image in their advertisements.

However, intellectual property lawyer Vladimir Entin expects the application to be turned down, as the image is likely to be deemed too similar to the existing Olympic logo.

In any case, World Masterpieces have carried out a fantastic PR campaign, Entin said.

"Upon annulment of the application, no financial sanctions can be applied to the business," while the benefits of such high-profile publicity will outdo the cost of applying for a patent, he added.

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