Teligence

Teligence
Interactive Male

Interactive Male

July 07, 2009 12:00 ET

Interactive Male Logo Registration Challenged by Canadian Olympic Committee

Popular gay men's chatline vows to fight to keep its identity despite opposition from the COC

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 7, 2009) - Interactive Male, North America's largest chatline for gay and bisexual men, is announcing its intention to fight a challenge from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) to deny Interactive Male's trademark application.

The Interactive Male logo has been in use since 2004, with parent company, Teligence, filing an application with the Canadian Trademark Office to secure the registration in March, 2005. This application has been challenged by the COC on the grounds that the gay men's chatline logo resembles Olympic sporting event symbols used in the 1970s. The COC claims that the public would be misled into believing that Interactive Male is approved by or associated with the Olympics.

Joe Rachert, Senior Manager, Promotions and PR, Interactive Male, is amused by the COC's assertion. "It's hard to resist the obvious jokes about confusing the COC with a gay men's dating service," says Rachert. "Our advertising reflects our logo, and often depicts two male models interacting in a manner that does not resemble any Olympic sporting activity that I've ever seen. Of course, there's always a little sport involved in dating. But let's face it-we're a voice and video chatline for gay men. No one is going to mistake us for anything Olympic."

"Our own research showed that any Olympic image that might be considered similar to our logo was last used for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Incidentally, the symbols from the 1976 games are freely available as clip art, so the COC's opposition hardly seems an effective use of Canadian taxpayers' money."

Interactive Male believes this opposition to their logo registration is another example of recent heavy-handedness afforded the COC by the Canadian Federal Government, in the face of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, and is consistent with the authoritarian nature of the new federal law created by Bill C47. With the introduction of Bill C47, VANOC and the COC were granted extraordinary powers that placed restrictions on the public use of words such as "winter" and "Vancouver", and the line "with glowing hearts" from our Canadian national anthem.

Describing the impact on Interactive Male, Rachert explains, "Our logo is a meaningful representation to the GLBT community. We have invested a great deal of money and energy in building our brand through advertising, sponsorship and community involvement, so we want to protect that investment."

"I think the public needs to question the extent and power of the COC's domain. The COC images are drawings of people playing sports; our logo is letters that vaguely resemble stick men. If they win this opposition, who will they go after next? Will Canada have to change all the stick figure washroom signs?"

The final fate of Interactive Male's logo is yet to be determined, as Teligence awaits their hearing date in Ottawa, but Rachert knows it will be a struggle. "The COC is a lot bigger than us, with more resources at their disposal, but we are used to standing up for what is right and this is no different. We believe justice will prevail."

About Interactive Male

Interactive Male is the most popular gay men's chatline in North America. Connecting thousands of guys every day for over 15 years, Interactive Male leads the gay dating industry with innovative features like gay video chat and the only gay Spanish chatline anywhere. For more information, visit http://www.interactivemale.com/.

About Teligence

Teligence is the North American leader in voice-enabled social networking. Every month, millions of North Americans use Teligence chatlines to connect with real people for friendship, dating and fun. With a diverse product line that includes Interactive Male, Livelinks, Vibeline, RedHot Dateline, TangoPersonals, FonoChat and Lavender Line, Teligence offers a better way for everyone to make the connection that's right for them. For more information, visit http://www.Teligence.net.

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