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Olympics are coming, Londoners basically forbidden from enjoying it

Posted by: Laurence Simons 17/07/12

Sports are going to happen in the capital of the UK in the next few weeks.

Woo! Yeah! Sports! That's right: the [runny jump-jump event] of [the year] is coming to [the capital of the UK] in just ten sweet little days, and the residents of [city that cannot be named for legal reasons] are all geared up for excitement. Shop owners sadly pull the shutters down on window displays that used the word 'gold'. Dystopian tube announcements warn residents not to use the travel system basically ever again. In Piccadilly, a bewildered tourist in a bumbag is kicked repeatedly by commuters after trying to unfold an actual and legitimate map right in the middle of rush hour. (A map). The Olympics are coming to London!

And cometh the Olympics, cometh the clipboard-wielding man to make sure none of those pesky UK residents and businesses besmirch the good name of Brand O. As the Independent reports, pubs cannot use blackboards to advertise any beer other than athletes' favourite, Heineken. Caterers who are not McDonalds have been briefly forbidden from serving chips after the Hamburglar paid for the monopoly on them. And certain magical code-words - London, javelin, 2012 - cannot be uttered by puny mortals (or used in their marketing materials) without prior written Olympic Committee approval.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are well within their rights to enforce certain rules - the Olympics is a huge brand, for a start off, and one that carries an awful lot of commercial weight - but turning away visitors who don't come armed with a sponsor-friendly VISA card and forbidding chips is all a bit 'bad sci-fi film villain' in the way it prioritises corporate responsibilities over physical specimens leaping around and having a wild time.

And what does this mean for those in legal jobs? Well, it roughly translates as 'a lot of people being sued' and 'a news writer being arrested on an assault charge in Piccadilly'. But in the meantime, for those within intellectual property jobs – it means boning up on all IP and making sure your business is well within the marks LOCOG set out on the track - might be a good idea over the coming week.