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Thursday 24 August 2017

Hair-raising Grimes brothers convert Jedward name to trademark

Jedward at
last year's Eurovision
Jedward at last year's Eurovision
Impresario Louis Walsh, manages the twins
Starstruck fans Roisin Wilson and Megan O'Riordon at the Jedward Concert at The INEC, Killarney, earlier this week
Official Jedward chocolate bars, on sale for 86c
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

JEDWARD have revealed a hard-headed approach to business by converting their name into a trademark.

The Irish Patents Office has just allowed the twin's parents Susanna Condron and John Grimes to register the Jedward name, to protect their sons' hair-raising brand and its money-making potential.

The Kildare brothers, whose agent is impresario Louis Walsh, are estimated to have made in the region of €4m since bursting onto the entertainment scene on ITV's 'The X-Factor' in 2009

They've appeared in adverts for companies such as Abrakebabra, mobile operator '3', Moneysupermarket.com and Nintendo. The Nintendo deal alone is reckoned to have been worth close to €600,000.

Securing a trademark for the Jedward name means anyone who now uses it in Ireland to promote or sell anything without permission, could be sued for damages, or even wind up in jail.

The trademark registration indicates the Jedward name could be used to sell many products you'd expect -- such as hair gels, and others you wouldn't, including walking sticks.

The twins' parents are evidently hoping they will come up smelling of roses for some time to come. The 'Planet Jedward' website already sells items such as T-shirts, mugs and chocolate bars.

Brand expert Gerard Tannam said the Jedward juggernaut has been very carefully cultivated and promoted by the 20-year-old twins and Louis Walsh.

"What they've been very clever with is the development of the trademark elements of Jedward, in terms of the hairstyles, catchphrases and the interaction between them," he said.

Mr Tannam said that while it's difficult to predict what kind of longevity the Jedward brand might have, he agreed they've done "very well" so far.

"With Jedward, it's very clear what you're going to get," he added, noting that their influence goes far beyond their core teenage audience.

He said that it was "no surprise" that Louis Walsh is the agent to have latched on to them.

Promoting

"Louis has been very good at identifying and promoting a certain kind of Irishness that's very much based on the kid-next-door persona."

The twins are currently vying to take centre stage again this year for Ireland at the Eurovision song contest in Azerbaijan with their tune 'Waterline'.

They represented Ireland in Germany last year with their song 'Lipstick', and came eighth. That was the best result for Ireland in the competition since 2000.

Jedward are currently on a countrywide tour, and tickets for their shows are €35.50. They played 11 dates across Europe in January.

Slogans and words, as well as artwork specific to a brand, can all be trademarked.

Once approved, a trademark in Ireland is secure for an initial 10 years. It can then be extended indefinitely for 10-year periods.

A successful registration means that anyone who infringes the trademark by using it without permission, can be sued in court by the holder of the trademark.

That could include taking an action for damages, or an injunction preventing the use of the trademark.

But criminal cases can also result, with a conviction for infringement being punishable by up to six months' imprisonment and a fine of €1,300.

Irish Independent

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