During World War II, Britons were encouraged to “Keep Calm and Carry On”, but it seems that the original poster imprinted with the stiff upper lip slogan has ignited a minor war of its own. The WW II British Ministery of Information posters were printed but never widely distributed, as they were deemed to be too patronizing. Now a battle has erupted over who has the right to market posters and products bearing the now ubiquitous slogan.
Our friend and fellow antiquarian, Stuart Manley, co-owner of the fantastic Barter Books in Alnwick, England, rediscovered the original posters in 2000 and has been selling them ever since. But in 2007 entrepreneur Mark Coop started his own business marketing all manner of souvenirs and junk imprinted with the slogan. This year, Coop managed to secure an EU trademark on the wording of the slogan setting-off a massive brouhaha. We, of course side with the bookseller. What do you think?