Harris Tweed

Scottish Heraldry
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Chris Green
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Harris Tweed

Postby Chris Green » 10 Feb 2016, 07:06

The Lord Lyon has made a grant of arms to the Harris Tweed Authority. The arms feature the Harris Tweed trade mark of an orb.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-35534990

I have yet to light upon an image of the actual arms.

I am not sure how a grant of arms can provide more protection than the Trade Marks Act 1994. Presumably if the HTA's lawyers thought that someone was using the orb to pass off their cloth as harris tweed, they would institute legal proceedings under the 1994 Act (which implements EU Directive No. 89/104/EEC). If those legal proceedings were successful fine. If they failed, how would a case at the Lyon Court make a difference? Apart from anything else, Lord Lyon's writ is valid only within Scotland. Moreover the orb (as in the trademark) can only be an element in the coat of arms. Using an element of any coat of arms cannot possibly be actionable at Lyon or any other Court of Chivalry. One might equally well argue that HM The Queen has grounds for action against the HTA (and Lord Lyon) for illegal use of an image of her orb of state.
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Arthur Radburn
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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Arthur Radburn » 10 Feb 2016, 09:36

According to the HTA's website, the HTA -- the 'Guardians of the Orb' -- operates under the Harris Tweed Act 1993, which provides protection against the misuse of the orb mark, and the passing off of other fabrics as Harris Tweed.

With luck, the grant of arms will appear on Lord Lyon's twitter page shortly, and we can see what it actually looks like.
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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 10 Feb 2016, 09:56

I have to agree with Chris' summary. Whilst I am delighted that a new coat of arms has been granted, I am not convinced that any member of the Harris Tweed Authority could seriously believe that a grant of arms from the Lord Lyon could provide an additional layer of protection to their brand. Harris Tweed enjoys a great many existing protections including the fact that it is a protected designation (like Palma Ham and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies). The only protection the Lord Lyon can offer is against the misuse of the now granted armorial bearings in his realm of Scotland. As Chris has so rightly highlighted, greater protection of the brand is already available.

I think that the protection of brand spin may have been used to simply justify the expenditure.
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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Iain Boyd » 10 Feb 2016, 20:40

With luck, the grant of arms will appear on Lord Lyon's twitter page shortly, and we can see what it actually looks like.


It already has!

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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Chris Green » 10 Feb 2016, 21:33

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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 11 Feb 2016, 07:06

The arms - stylized gold orb on a green shield, with no extraneous extras - are very, very nice!

While the grant may not provide any significant extra protection in the UK vs. the existing UK statutes cited, the shield from the grant is an additional trademark they can register there snd elsewhere, both in color and B&W. This would avoid or foreclose others registering an orb on a shield, which some jurisdictions may see as sufficiently different, by their standards, for a competing product.

And in any case, the arms should be very useful in advertising, especially in full color where the shield may be more eye-catching than the orb standing alone.
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Chris Green
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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Chris Green » 11 Feb 2016, 08:40

Is it green? It looks black to me. I wonder what the blazon is. It could be: Vert (or Sable) a Mound Or.

The question arises as to whether the use of an image of a green (or black) shield bearing a golden orb to market (non-Harris) tweed outside Scotland could be contested by the HTA if it is not also registered as a trade mark under the 1994 Act. I would doubt it. If the new COA is registered as a trade mark under the Act, then the grant of arms provides not one iota of extra protection.
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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Iain Boyd » 11 Feb 2016, 20:32

I wonder what the blazon is. It could be: Vert (or Sable) a Mound Or.


I would suggest "Vert (or Sable), a Mound (or Orb) in outline Or."

Without the 'in outline' the charge would be rendered as a three-dimensional object from your blazon, Chris, which is not what has been emblazoned.

Also, I prefer 'orb' to 'mound'

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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Chris Green » 11 Feb 2016, 20:51

Without the 'in outline' the charge would be rendered as a three-dimensional object from your blazon, Chris, which is not what has been emblazoned. Also, I prefer 'orb' to 'mound'


"In outline" is not a term I have come across before. Can you provide any examples of its use?

I merely used "mound" to demonstrate that Harris Tweed's "orb" has an heraldic name. I await (without bated breath) for LL's definitive blazon .
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Re: Harris Tweed

Postby Iain Boyd » 12 Feb 2016, 02:20

'In outline' has never been used before, but, seemed to be an appropriate description for the charge.

It certainly will be interesting to see the 'official' blazon.

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