Keep calm and carry on (with trademarks)

The iconic World War II-era phrase, which adorns items and merchandise worldwide, is, as it turns out, trademarked in Europe by a former TV producer.

As the fight over the trademark continues, the couple partially responsible for the slogan’s revitalization, Stuart and Mary Manley, began just by framing it in their secondhand book shop and selling copies of the poster. But now, they’re less-than-enthused about the torrent of parodies.

From Mary:

"I didn’t want it trivialized. But of course now it’s been trivialized beyond belief…. You want to keep up a standard, and ‘Keep calm and eat a cupcake’ doesn’t do that."

Read more from our latest Column One report.

Photos: Henry Chu, Sang Tan / Los Angeles Times

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