Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Good Response

A recent (April 15, 2016) Letter to the Editor of the The Herald in Scotland responds to an editorial attacking the role of the Court of the Lord Lyon King of Arms in protecting and regulating coats of arms in that kingdom. The editorial seems to have said that the Court is outdated.

The author (rightly, in my opinion, but then again, I may be a little biased!) notes that intellectual property (trademarks, copyright, and brands names, for example) are protected by law, and that heraldry is the "oldest form of intellectual property" and thus equally worthy of protection.

Not everyone agrees; there are two comments as of this writing, one of which objects to the much higher cost of a grant from Lord Lyon versus registering a trademark, and the other which accepts that argument and suggests that arms be registered as trademarks and the Court of the Lord Lyon be abolished. (The latter clearly does not understand the differences between heraldry - which can take on a variety of forms depending upon the artist - and trademarks - which protect a specific image, among other things.)

It's a well-reasoned and stated letter.  You can find it in its entirety on the website of The Herald (does anyone else find this name ironic given the subject matter of the editorial? I certainly do!) at

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