FILE - This Wednesday, June 5, 2013 file photo shows a general view of the crowd in St. Peter's Square during Pope Francis general audience, at the Vatican.The Vatican’s crackdown on the commercial use of its official emblems has found resistance from a Spanish website that refuses to give up on referencing the seat of the Catholic Church in its masthead. Spain’s trademark office said in September 2017 that InfoVaticana.com, a privately-run website that publishes articles about religion in Spanish and Italian, can’t register as a brand because that would mislead readers about being officially tied to the Holy See. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)

Does the pope own the Vatican brand? Spain, so far, says yes

March 20, 2018 - 6:30 am

MADRID (AP) — A Vatican crackdown on the commercial use of its official emblems has met resistance from a Spanish website that refuses to stop referencing the seat of the Catholic Church in its masthead.

So far, Spain's trademark office has taken the Vatican's side. It ruled that InfoVaticana.com can't register as a brand because its name might mislead consumers.

InfoVaticana staff scrubbed the colors of the Vatican's flag, the Holy See's emblem and a logo with Saint Peter's keys from the site. But they are fighting to keep the InfoVaticana name.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke says protecting the Holy See's image "is not a matter of ideology or freedom of expression, but one of officialdom."

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