Cuffs Off the Tardis

  • This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 20 years ago by Anonymous.
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #38895

    Odd, isn’t it, that perhaps the BBC has better lawyers than London’s Metropolitan police?

    Article from this week’s Radio Times (British TV Guide) explains…


    It may look like an old Metropolitan Police blue box, but now its official – it’s a time machine.

    As any fan of Doctor Who will tell you the Doctor stole his TARDIS from the Time Lords of Gallifrey. But the question of who actually owns the time-travelling machine has been keeping lawyers busy here on Earth.

    Due to a malfunction in its chameleon circuit, the TARDIS spent the 26-year run of the show disguised as a blue police public call box of the kind common on the streets of London and other British cities from 1929 until the sixties.
    London’s blue boxes were owned by the Metropolitan Police – but a ruling by the UK Patent Office has ended a six-year legal battle by giving all rights in the design to the BBC. They decided the boxes are now “more associated with the TV series” than with the police themselves. “We’re disappointed, but philosophical,” says a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police.


    [ 22-10-2002: Message edited by: Camelyn ]


    An acquantance of mine just sent me an article about that via e-mail –
    The BBC has won a court case over the rights to the famous Police Box design.
    The Metropolitan Police objected to the BBC profiting from the use of the Police Box image for merchandise, arguing that it was originally designed for their use.
    Losing the appeal the Metropolitan Police was ordered to pay £850, plus legal costs. The battle commenced when the Patent Office originally accepted the TARDIS as a BBC trademark in 1996.
    Hearing officer Mike Knight said that the police telephone box was not the exclusive property of the Metropolitan Police as it had been used by other forces outside London.
    Summing, up Mr Knight said, “I bear in mind that for most of the period since the Police Call Box was taken out of service, the only sight the public at large would have had of this item of street furniture has been in the TV programme Doctor Who, provided by the BBC, where it is a TARDIS, a fictional time-travelling machine with the external appearance of a police box.”
    Shortly after the ruling, the Metropolitan Police announced plans to bring the Police Box back to the streets of London, presumably in the shape of Grandfather Clock or an Ionic Column.

    [ 14-11-2002: Message edited by: Chamileon ]


    I wonder how much they actually spent arguing the case!?

    It’s got to be one of the silliest BBC wrangles I’ve heard for a long time.


    Absolutly brilliant!!! The Police had it designed, built and used it for many year. Some bod in the Beebs props department thought it looked cool, and now the Beeb hold the rights to it. A true tribute to the power of the media. I shall be going home tonight with a wry grin on my face.


    And just think, it was all caused by a malfunction in the Chameleon Circuit 😀


    And just think, it was all caused by a malfunction in the Chameleon Circuit


Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.