Regimental Branding

I've searched for info on this but can't find anything:

There are numerous companies offering Regimentally branded ties, mugs, t-shirts etc etc etc. Who own's the branding?
I believe that MOD own the rights to Regimental "logos" (cap badges, mottos etc) but can any company simply use Regimental colours? I presume that if a "logo" or specific combination of colours isn't trade marked it's a free for all?

Just wondering how the TM and copyright laws may apply to Regiments?

A few years ago the MoD announced a huge spend (£m +) on “corporate identity”. This caused an outcry as to why the MoD was spending money on name plates, signs plaques etc.

It turned out that the MoD were in fact registering all of the logos as they did not own the intellectual property rights or the trade marks.

It was highlighted when a high street chain started to push a lot more of the mod parkers with the RAF roundel on the back. The MoD complained and were told to **** off as the logo was not owned by anyone (at that time).

It’s not all good news though, manufactures can apply for a licence from the MoD to produce “logoed” items.

We challenged a company who started to make sell “Felix” gear to anyone. Now we were not getting elitist or anything like that, but it did mean that none of those sales were putting money into our unit’s PRI!
StickyBomb may know more than me, but in essence the MOD saw issues with certain 'badges' being used for commercial purposes, plus there was a furore with Ben Sherman (as i understand it) as to who has the Intellectual Property Rights, rather than Trade Mark.

So the MOD/Army owns the 'brand'. All controlled by a civil servant in Main Building. Commercial companies have to pay a licence to use the brand and colours if they are regimental. I don't know if there is an approved list of companies.

If you put a series of regimental PRI stock together you are bound to find inconsistencies of colour etc, so the idea is to create consistency, which in turn strengthens the 'brand' by the fact that people see the same thing the whole time. For instance, there is no set definition for the colours of the Household Division's 'Blue Red Blue' - aside that they are HM The Queen's racing colours - every supplier will define it themselves.

The Army has spent a long time sorting out electronic versions of all the badges that exist and these, when I last spoke to the team mid 2011, were being signed off by units Regimental Secretaries etc so they become the 'sealed pattern'. These will all be, if they aren't already, on the Army's internet site, you can apply for a logon to get to your 'badge'. The intent is to widen this to include stable belts eventually.

PM me if you need a contact and I will see if I can assist.
I have teddy bears manufactured in the uniform of local regiments (past and present) that we then sell/raffle etc for SSAFA. All the cap badges are embroidered and had to be approved by the MOD before we could use them.

This of course then has implications on the final cost of the bear :(
Sorry, I thought this thread would be about heating up stable belt buckles under the influence of alcohol, a la Jarhead.
Copyright is automatic, so many designs, badges... would be protected. There's also the matter of "prior art", registering a RAF roundel would be unlikely after mods 'n god knows who else have used concentric red white blue circles.

Lots of insignia could be lodged with the College of Arms, it'd be interesting to know how that relates to intellectual property law.

Might not be wise to kick up too much of a fuss, considering those bearskins, Imperial Eagles etc. we knicked of all those vanquished foes.


Copyright is automatic, so many designs, badges... would be protected. There's also the matter of "prior art", registering a RAF roundel would be unlikely after mods 'n god knows who else have used concentric red white blue circles.
The roundel has caused a few problems but then The Who have used it since the 60s, especially by the late Keith Moon



I am sorry but there is no such thing as automatic copyright, if there was there would be no need for lawyers. If an item has been in the public domain for many a year and not protected then it can be used freely provided acknowledgement is made when called for. For an example the Light Infantry Bugle or phrase light Infantry is a copyrighted phrase or image as it is in common usage to describe a type of soldier or role rather than a regiment and the bugle or hunting horn has been in usage throughout the European countries for a Postal service sign for a very long time.
If you have a design or idea and you think that someone else has profited from it without you registering it as a trade mark then try and sue them, you will get feck all!
The onus will be on you to prove that they didnt think of it at the same time as you.


I should add that if you can prove a photograph used by a company for commercial purposes is yours and no authority was given or asked for then they can be made to take it down. I did this once with a company selling items similar to the ones the wife sells and they had used one of our promotional pictures I had taken. They didnt ask for permission although for a fee it would have been forthcoming so it came down!


Chief - PM sent.


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