Now, anyone can yell like Tarzan

November 14th, 2007 - 8:14 am ICT by admin  
Tarzan was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the application to register the sound of the jungle resident’s scream as a trademark, was made by Edgar Rice Burroughs Incorporated.

They argued that firms could profit from Tarzan’s unique roar, made famous by Johnny Weissmuller, for computer games, mobile phone ring tones and advertising.

But after a ten-year battle, the EU trademark authority turned down the plea because it is almost impossible to represent graphically, reports Times Online.

Experts ruled that, although it is possible to protect sounds that can be represented by musical notes, Tarzan’s cry does not qualify.

The application, submitted by Burroughs’ lawyers included two pictures representing the sound of Tarzan’s call, an image of a wave form representation of the sound, and a spectrogram of the frequencies of the yell.

But the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) (Trade Marks and Designs) said that the graphic did not clearly explain the sound.

“It is impossible to recognise from the image as filed whether the sound phenomena depicted therein is a human voice or something else, eg, the tune of violins or bells or a dog’s bark. Nobody would be able to hum the Tarzan yell from the spectrogram and nobody reads spectrograms for entertainment,” OHIM said in a statement.

However, lawyer Stephen James, who lodged the application, said: “I have spent the past ten years trying to get Tarzan’s yell trademarked but the difficulty has been putting a sound down on paper.”

“We say that anybody, from the age of 5 to 105, who heard that sound would say it is Tarzan. There is still a lot of interest from people who want to license the Tarzan name and also to use the yell,” he added.

James has made a fresh application that includes a sound file, as allowed under new EU rules. (ANI)

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