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A group of BSDers heavily concerned with intellectual property rights.
Gauntlet file photo

SU looks to trademark Bermuda Shorts Day

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Last April, The Back Alley Night Club had hundreds of students click "attending" to their unofficial Bermuda Shorts Day event on Facebook. The Students' Union is trying to put a stop to this 'marketing scheme' for their end of the year event by trademarking BSD.

"Every year, multiple Calgary clubs advertise an after party for the campus-wide event," said SU vice-president student life Jennifer Abbott. "The beer gardens on campus from 12 to 4 p.m. at the U of C is the only official after party of Bermuda Shorts Day."

This year is the 50th anniversary of Bermuda Shorts Day, the unofficial end of the year for University of Calgary students. The event, which draws over 3,000 students annually, started in 1960 when then Gauntlet editor-in-chief Alan Arthur wrote "wear shorts tomorrow" on a blackboard the eve of the last day of classes.

Abbott said trademarking the name will help maintain the long-lasting tradition, but that the process is tedious and proving to be a challenge.

"It won't take place this year, it takes a while to get registered," she said.

According to Abbott, the name Bermuda Shorts Day should be property of the SU by next year, preventing its unauthorized use.

SU VP external Hardave Birk said BSD is a huge part of student life.

"I think BSD is definitely an unbelievable part of campus," he said. "When you're an alumnus you take a good look back at one of the few events where a large number of students came to celebrate the end of a hard year."

The SU has played with the idea to trademark BSD for over two years, but finally decided to get the ball rolling on the process a few months ago.

"It's an idea that has been going on for so long," said Abbott. "It's because the event is so big. It would make it more official, make it tradition."

Many large campuses across Canada have events like BSD, but a difference is that BSD is free for all students.

"None are at the scale or size of ours," said Birk. "At UBC they have something like it called Block Party, but it's 30 or 40 bucks. Most are much smaller than BSD, and most charge."

As midterm season begins to come to an end and finals are in the near future, most students have BSD as a source of motivation to get through their last few months of school work. Third-year engineering student Michael Purdy said BSD was one of his biggest highlights of last year.

"I can't wait," he said. "It's the biggest party of the year; it really brings a sense of community to the U of C and something that every student looks forward to."

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Comments

Are you going to enforce the trademark once its issued? If you don\'t enforce a trademark it is useless and can be cancelled. Have you done an analysis of how much it will cost to enforce it? Engaging lawyers, etc. costs signficant money. Is there a significant financial benefit to doing this?

The real derps here are that CIPO makes it easy enough that a non-expert on the SU exec or business staff could have completed a trademark application at CIPO in an afternoon years ago, and that they think they need to register the trademark to enforce their rights.

That they presently think it will take months of work to register a trademark shows how unprepared they are to do anything meaningful with the trademark even if it\'s granted.