Humane Association: ‘King’s Speech’ Violated Our Trademark

Animal rights group wants producers to remove the phrase “No Animals Were Harmed” from the Oscar nominated film’s end credits

Last Updated: February 5, 2011 @ 11:51 AM

Queen Elizabeth II, world renowned Corgi owner, likes "The King's Speech," but the American Humane Association has a bone to pick with the producers.

According to the AHA, the use of the phrase "No Animals Were Harmed" in the end credits of the Oscar nominated movie is a violation of its trademark. The Association wants the producers and The Weinstein Company to remove it.

The AHA stressed that it does not accuse the producers of mistreating any animals, and has no reason to believe animals were harmed in any way while the movie was being shot. The dispute is entirely over the use of the four words.

"We are hoping the language will be removed," said Karen Rosa, vice president of AHA's film and television unit. The association says it was not a consultant nor involved in any way with the film, as it has been in more than 2,000 movies, television shows, commercials and videos every year.

In response, "The King's Speech" producer, Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films said, in a written statement provided by TWC, "As an independent UK production we were unaware that this phrase had a certification mark and any implication that the American Humane Association was involved in our UK production was unintentional."

Corgis appear in the movie, although animals play only a background role.

Rosa said her organization found out that the movie carried the trademarked words when a staff member saw "The King's Speech" in a theater.

"We're geeky enough that we stay to the end just to make sure," Rosa said. She said the staff member knew that the Humane Association did not have monitors on the set of "The King's Speech," and told officials about the language in the end credits.

"We have now spoken with the AHA and resolved the issue," Sherman added in the written statement Friday. "The treatment of animals in this film was never an issue. The only issue was inadvertent use by the producers of the AHA's certification mark, which has now been resolved."

However, the AHA does not see the matter as entirely closed at this point.

"We are hoping it will be resolved," Rosa said. "We are working with the producers and we are exchanging emails and conversations."

The Weinstein Company and See-Saw Films did not immediately return TheWrap's request for clarification.

Brent Lang and Dominic Patten contributed to this report.