What effect will the trademarking of

The "Wild Clown Whore" otherwise known as British Heart

What’s in a word? Quite a lot apparently. According to infamous impresario Chaz Royal, Boylesque Festival Vienna founder Jacques Patriaque has trademarked the term “boylesque” and is pulling up the drawbridge. Royal has been issued legal papers barring him from creating a competing event in London, something which is already well under way.

Controversy and Royal are no strangers. In 2013, the producer took to Facebook to viciously denounce Catherine D’Lish, a world-class performer that he had previously chosen to headline his London Burlesque Festival. His battle with Patriaque, though, has gone beyond social media.

Although he has already held boylesque nights as part of broader events in the capital, Royal is looking to launch the first London Boylesque Festival this year. His planning seems to be quite advanced given that he is looking to accept applications from 1 February and announced last week that his event would join forces with the London Drag Festival.

All of that could be scuppered by Patriaque’s move. As it stands, the word “boylesque” is now registered as a trademark by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office until 2024 and is protected throughout the EU. According to the IPO website, the application was lodged last August and, with no opposition received, the term “boylesque” was registered in December.

Royal isn’t taking this lying down. Under his real name of Mark Henderson, he has created a petition where he lays out his case:

London Burlesque Festival (www.londonburlesquefest.com) has been served with a cease and desist letter from a representing lawyer of a Burlesque producer in Vienna over the use of the word Boylesque. LBF has been using this common word for describing male Burlesque performers since 2007, with dedicated showcases since 2011. The word Boylesque is commonly used around the world. How can anyone own it? Well they have managed to get it trademarked in UK & EU! http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/4/EU013181862

After LBF announced in July of 2014 that there would be a Boylesque Festival being staged in London (www.londonboylesquefest.com), a trademark request was filed shortly after. At no stage was LBF informed or had the opportunity to oppose it.

This trademark does not only affect LBF but in fact any performer or producer or venue who wishes to use the term Boylesque, as it stands no-one but the trademark owner may use the term now in any way in the European union. While we believe that LBF is the only one to be served notice of legal proceedings to date this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Many thousands of working professionals have been using this term for many years and we do not believe that this term is the sole right of any one producer. If this trademark stands all boylesque performers, venues etc can be sued if they use this term to describe themselves or their event.

LBF has been advised by lawyers to appeal on behalf of LBF and those who this trademark affects. If no appeal is made, it means that these people can sue anyone using this word in any context.

We, supported by Cabaret Solutions, are working to have this trademark declared invalid but we need your voice to be heard.

Please sign this petition and help raise awareness by sharing it on your social media. Such unruly practice should not be condoned in any industry, especially BURLESQUE!

Thanks for your support

Mark Henderson (Chaz Royal) on behalf of London Burlesque Festival

“Boylesque” is not the only term protected by trademark. Burlesque has been registered not only once but twice. A key difference is that neither of these cases related to the use of the word in relation to live entertainment, something which Patriaque’s trademark has explicitly locked down.

More as we get it.

Image: Guilherme Zuhlke O’Connor exclusively for This Is Cabaret