Coming soon: Donner Party Trays

The government of Mongolia wants to trademark the name and image of Genghis Khan:

The parliament in Ulan Bator is debating a law that would allow the Mongolian government to license the use of his name and image.

Genghis Khan established a vast empire 700 years ago, but today his face is found on vodka bottles and the capital city has a brewery named after him.

In fact, the Ulan Bator airport is being renamed for him (as noted here during the summer). But the Mongolians (I guess we don’t call them “Mongols” anymore) don’t want outsiders appropriating Genghis:

“Foreigners are attempting to use the Genghis Khan name”, one parliamentarian said, claiming that businesses in Russia, China and Kazakhstan were all portraying him as a native of their countries.

The law would allow the government to set fees for the use of Genghis Khan’s name. It would also permit the Mongolian President to select one official portrait from the 10 in use and define which bodies could use this image.

It won’t stop there, says Lemuel:

I am more interested, who and when will first try to register swastikas? Hindu, Chinese or Germans? And with Stalin Vodka already on the stands in some countries I heartily await the legal battles over who gets the protection and sole rights over the brand name and the image of Adolf Hitler. It would be an interesting reversal to see him actually being contested by both Austria and Germany.

In the best of all possible worlds, this would be the result:

“Adolf Hitler,” “Nazi” and “National Socialist,” or any combinations including same, are registered trademarks of Mike Godwin. All rights reserved. Use without prior permission strictly forbidden.

But I suspect Godwin probably doesn’t want anything to do with this sort of thing.

Which leaves me only one question: which Third World hellhole — Iran, Cuba, or the Gaza Strip — will be the first to name a landmark for Jimmy Carter?


  1. Sean Gleeson »

    7 October 2006 · 5:32 pm

    India named a whole city after Jimmy Carter, in 1978.

  2. CGHill »

    7 October 2006 · 8:19 pm

    He was still sane in ’78, right?

  3. Sean Gleeson »

    8 October 2006 · 9:59 am

    You mean legally? Yeah, I guess so.

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