ECJ Judge: "Picasso 'reduced to a piece of merchandise' by his heirs"
Advocate General Dámaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer of the European Court of Justice laid the smack down on the heirs of the famous artist Picasso. At issue was whether DaimlerChrysler could use the trademark "Picaro" for one of their new cars. The judges tend to follow the findings of the Advocate Generals (80% of the time according to the article).
Mr Ruiz-Jarabo was rather less complimentary about the artist's heirs [than about Picasso himself] - his children Claude, Paloma and Maya, and his grandchildren Marina and Bernard Picasso - who brought the case.Telegraph article here - Picasso 'reduced to a piece of merchandise' by his heirs
He went on: "It is sad to note that the most outstanding, mythic figure of the 20th century, a piece of the common heritage of humanity, has been reduced to a piece of merchandise."
While he conceded that the family of the artist had "a legitimate interest" in defending the name, he denounced its "immoderate use for commercial ends".
The family licensed the name to Citroen for use on its Xsara model, which bears a facsimile of his signature.
Invoking the name of "universal cultural heritage", he argued that society had a general interest in "preserving the name of great artists from insatiable mercantile greed, to keep their works from being wrecked by banality".
Here's an article about this in Forbes as well.