The Walt Disney Company has applied to trademark ‘Seal Team 6,’ the name of the elite U.S. Navy Seals unit that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan earlier this month.
According to the Associated Press, Disney filed three applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on May 3, just two days after the raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad.
Since the killing of bin Laden, Seal Team 6 has worked hard to retain its secrecy, but critics say it could be at risk if Disney is successful in its trademark application.
The filings state that the trademark will be used for a range of products, including toys, games, clothes, entertainment and education services and, oddly, Christmas stockings.
Reaction has been mixed.
Advertising consultant Cindy Gallop, speaking to thetakeaway.org, said she felt torn between admiration for Disney’s savvy move but also “absolute horror” at the idea, which is “completely at odds with the way we’ve been appreciating the activities of Seal Team 6.”
Time magazine said Disney’s move merited merely a “begrudging eye roll.”
“The SEAL Team 6 has proven its marketing potential, and Disney, wisely, was the first to jump on the opportunity to profit,” the magazine’s Nick Carbone wrote.