Could you imagine that somebody would patent the word ‘hello’ and you couldn’t sell T-Shirts with it?
This is currently happening in Austria with the words ‘griaß di’.
Griaß di is a greeting similar to hello or hi. It is used in parts of Bavaria are and also in Austria.
Now there were two shops who used to sell T-Shirts with this greeting printed on and yes, you’ve guessed it, one in Austria and one in Germany. Both have been selling these T-Shirts for many years, until …..
…. until the German decided to have ‘griaß di’ patented so that only he can sell those T-Shirts. He succeeded and last month the Austrian shop owner was told to stop selling his T-Shirts. He had three days to get rid of the stock!
Philipp Reindl, the Austrian, didn’t sell many of those T-Shirts, but he wasn’t happy that a daily used Austrian greeting could be patented, and – even worse – by a German!
Peter Mayr, the German, on the other hand, has been selling these T-Shirts very successfully since 2004 and when he found out that there were more companies who used those words, they, too, received the message that they had to stop.
In the meantime, Phillip Reindl did some research to find out if something could be done. Then the Austrian TV channel ORF heard about it and made it public.
Since then, Austria is in uproar. How dare a German tell them what they can sell and what not! The Tyrolian Chamber of Commerce is considering to finance a court case to have the patent revoked and there is even a Facebook group ‘save the griaß di’
How will this end, I wonder?
EDIT 2012: the patent has been revoked, see this German article Streit um “Griaß di”: Allgäuer Firma verliert Patent