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6 May 2007
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FAR OUT SKUNKWORKS, Classified -- Lockheed Martin build military aircraft that travel at mach 3 (which is really shifting a bit) and sneak into
oil-rich states nations with hidden WMDs without showing up on radar, but they wish they hadn't tried to take on a small hippie shop in England called Skunkworks, a reference to the ultra-powerful form of cannabis known as skunk.
The vast multinational firm attempted to gain a cease-and-desist order against Skunkworks, preventing them from using the domain name ukskunkworks.co.uk, presumably because several of their customers will be so ratted they might accidentally place an order for a stealth bomber when they meant to buy a bong, and not be able to keep up the repayments.
Lockheed Martin's lawyers claimed that the name should belong to the aircraft company, as Skunkworks is the name of their top-secret research laboratory and testing facility, even though such a place doesn't exist. In a thousand-page document, they went on to assert that the organisation already owns several EU trademarks for "Skunkworks", and being associated with a shop selling drug paraphernalia might damage their reputation. Unlike selling weapons used to kill thousands of people.
The shop, situated in Bexleyheath, responded with a single-page document in which they claimed that Lockheed Martin were "...getting really heavy, man, you dig? They're on some kid of a fascist power-trip, right? They ought to just, like, chill out." The last line was unreadable, as little bits of the paper had been torn off to make roaches in joints. However, in January, Nominet - the organisation responsible for solving such matters - dismissed Lockheed Martin's case. The firm appealed, but were again dismissed at the end of April.
The owner of the shop said that Lockheed Martin's customers were unlikely to be confused. "After all," he pointed out, "most of their customers are going to be dictators of third-world countries that grow all the drugs they need. Our customers do not get confused easily...er, what were we talking about, dude? Man, what did I come in the kitchen for? It's doing my head in...man, look at the patterns on the floor tiles, cool."
Nominet added "Lockheed Martin’s original use of the name 'skunk works' was humorous, and a sense of humour may be appropriate to this situation. There may be some comfort for Lockheed Martin in the fact that many people have as little wish to be associated with military aircraft as have Lockheed Martin to be associated with illegal drug use."
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|