Disney Surrenders to the U.S. Navy

After beginning the attempt to trademark the phrase “SEAL Team 6” on May 3, The Walt Disney Co. has officially dropped its attempt. Disney’s interest in SEAL Team 6 arose just two days after the highly trained, counter-terrorism unit was brought into the media when its members killed Osama Bin Laden. The quick movement to own rights to the name not only annoyed the Navy but also made Disney the joke of late night comedians. Disney’s move to drop the application was made in response to the U.S. Navy’s own filing of trademark applications for the names “Navy SEALS” and “SEAL Team” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 13. A Disney spokesman said, “Out of deference to the Navy’s application for these trademarks, we have withdrawn ours.” Disney’s ABC-TV had planned a TV show that would focus on elite military units, in much the same way as NCIS and JAG. Now, having dropped the attempt for trademarking the name, Disney is said to still be planning the TV show and just won’t use the name. The trademark application, should Disney have gone through with it, also would have brought about “SEAL Team 6” snow globes, Christmas tree ornaments, clothing, and games.