BBC wins key to the TARDIS -

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BBC wins key to the TARDIS

Metropolitan police lose fight to own the police box trade mark

By Richard Salter     October 24, 2002
Source: BBC Online

The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) at the TARDIS console in DOCTOR WHO
© 1996 BBC and Universal
The BBC's news site is reporting that London's Metropolitan police have lost a court battle in which they argued that they own the rights to the police box, the distinctive exterior of DOCTOR WHO's time machine, the TARDIS.

Originally, the police box was a common site in London up until the 1960s when it was phased out. However, DOCTOR WHO continued to use the police box on television up until 1996 and still uses the TARDIS image in its merchandising.

The court ruled in the BBC's favour, with arbitrator Shaun Sherlock stating that the police box is an item of "street furniture" and that the public now identifies it primarily with the DOCTOR WHO TV program. He also pointed out that the box was not used exclusively by the Metropolitan police.

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