Capitalizing on the Commendation: Disney Trademarks ‘SEAL TEAM 6’

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Naval Aircrewman Airman Scott Beach / U.S. Navy

A Navy SEAL jumps from a helicopter into the St. Johns River.

Since the Navy has never publicly acknowledged the team’s existence, it would appear the name is up for grabs. Enter Disney to snag the profits.

Two days after the SEAL team took down Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad compound, Disney saw dollar signs in their eyes. After filing a trademark for the name “SEAL TEAM 6,” they will now reap the merchandising rewards from the much-discussed elite squadron.

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Of course, the SEAL Team 6 is shaping up to be the next coveted title to adorn merchandise of all sorts. For example, cue the action figure: we envision it to be something like G.I. Joe meets Superman meets Ken (maybe we should trademark that idea!). But leave it to Disney to stomp on our fun. With the new trademarks, they’ll control the rights to pretty much anything imaginable that has the words “SEAL TEAM 6” on it. The three trademarks the company procured are valid on “toys, games and playthings,” “clothing, footwear and headwear,” and the very broad-based “entertainment and education services.”

The SEAL Team 6 has proven its marketing potential, and Disney, wisely, was the first to jump on the opportunity to profit. Maybe the Navy will swoop in for imminent domain? Truthfully, as long as we are exempt from paying royalties to Disney every time we mention “SEAL TEAM 6,” we will let this one slide with nothing more than a begrudging eye roll.

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