The Anonymous logo is one of the defining images of our generation. Whether you agree with them or not, Anonymous has had a profound impact on the Internet. That’s why it’s interesting that Anonymous hasn’t tried to monetize their image. Of course, it could be that a French online retailer beat them to it.
Twitter user @asher_wolf spotted a trademark filing from earlier this year that seeks to claim the Anonymous logo for their own. You know the one – the suited man with a question mark for a head standing in the front of the globe. It’s more synonymous with the Anonymous movement than the Guy Fawkes mask. Variations of the question mark man have been appearing since Anonymous was just some guys trolling the church of Scientology from 4chan’s /b/ board.
The lengthy history of the logo is what makes this news odd. Why trademark it now? The person behind the trademark is a Frenchman named Apollinaire Auffret. He works for the retailer Early Flicker and they have begun selling Anonymous merchandise via their eBay store.
What’s interesting is that Auffret did not only trademark the logo, but he also filed for the slogan – “Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
The man responsible for the trademark is obviously a peddler of suspect quality graphic T-shirts. You can see from his store that all of the t-shirts have graphics taken from various popular Web sources. He probably thinks that Anonymous is popular enough to warrant t-shirts.
Unfortunately, he may be only inviting attacks on his store and Web site. Anonymous has been traditionally against the use of copyright and trademark for any reason. Some within the group may feel that the trademark is an offense to their beliefs. Of course, it could also be somebody within Anonymous hoping to make a few extra bucks off the brand. The openness of the group makes it hard to pin down members or their motivations.
If you feel like you must have an Anonymous t-shirt, you can grab one from the store for €19.90. You might want to grab one now before Anonymous starts to attack the poor guy.