French T-shirt firm draws Anonymous ire over trademarks

A French T-shirt maker said Saturday he would relinquish his claim to the trademark of the Anonymous logo and slogan after the international hacking group attacked his online business.

Apollinaire Auffret, who manages the Early Flicker T-shirt firm, drew the ire of Anonymous after he filed a trademark claim with France's National Institute of Industrial Property to use the notorious group's visual tags in various forms, including on clothing, bags or dishes.

The Anonymous logo features a suited figure with a question mark instead of a head and its slogan includes the warning: "We do not Forgive. We do not Forget."

Though the application was filed February 16, it was only made public this week in a story in the Parisien newspaper.

Immediately after, Anonymous posted a grainy video on YouTube in which a synthesised voice says Anonymous will attack Early Flicker's online presence.

"Their arrogance and ignorance of what they have done will not go unpunished," intones the voice, as a masked person holds a statement. "Anonymous will take down any business they have going on the Internet."

Auffret told AFP on Saturday that he had been in contact with someone from Anonymous and resolved the dispute by pledging to relinquish his claim to the logo and slogan.

The Early Flicker manager said his firm only sells a handful of items a day and he registered the Anonymous logo and slogan because he was concerned about running into legal problems if he printed them and someone else had already registered them.

"No bans were put in place for their use and NO MONEY was claimed in copyright," Auffret said in a French statement on his company's website.

He said that since February, he had sold Anonymous merchandise with a total value of only about 500 euros ($620).

He added that his business's websites had been attacked so he decided to take them down for now.

Anonymous had pledged to continue attacking the T-shirt maker until its trademark registration had been revoked and a public apology issued.

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