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Friday, March 12, 1999 Published at 11:12 GMT


Sid rocks Elvis empire

The name "Elvis Presley" is not protected, the Appeal Court rules

A London trader has won his battle to continue selling Elvis Presley souvenirs.

The BBC's Joshua Rozenbrg: "It's a case of long live the king"
Elvis Presley Enterprises, of Memphis, Tennessee, lost its Court of Appeal battle to stop London trader Sid Shaw using the name of 'The King' on his souvenirs.

The legal tussle with Mr Shaw, who runs a memorabilia shop called Elvisly Yours, has been going on for over 17 years.

[ image: The case may set an important legal precedent]
The case may set an important legal precedent
The American company was appealing against a March 1997 High Court ruling that a star's name, whether living or dead, cannot be used as a trademark.

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Shaw said: "I'm delighted. I've proved that Elvis belongs to all of us - Elvis is part of our history, part of our culture.

"They tried to put me out of business and they haven't succeeded. I'm still here.

"It's been an enormous struggle, but I've always believed in justice and believed I would win."

Sid Shaw: "I always believed I would win"
Mr Shaw's lawyer, Stephen Whybrow, said the judgment would set a significant precedent.

He said it might make it difficult for the Diana, Princess of Wales, trust to overturn a ruling that they could not register her name as a trademark.

EPE was refused leave to appeal to the House of Lords by the three judges, but it can still apply directly to the Law Lords themselves to hear the case.

Stephen Whybrow: "Enormously important for the merchandising industry"
Mr Shaw, who has now moved his shop from Shoreditch High Street to the Trocadero in London's Piccadilly Circus, sells articles from watches to toiletries that bear the singer's name.

Mr Shaw's wrangle with Elvis Presley Enterprises began 17 years ago after it objected to his products, some of which were being sold as souvenirs at Graceland, Elvis's home in Memphis, where the American company is based.

The head of EPE is Priscilla Presley, the singer's widow, who is the legal inheritor of his estate.

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