“TCD Pro-Life Society” in breach of College trademark policy

The CSC have said that the group do not have the right to the use of the initialism “TCD” or to describe themselves as a society

The Central Societies Committee (CSC) have taken issue with the name of the “TCD Pro-Life Society” on the grounds that the group, which is not recognised as an official society, does have the right to the usage of the College trademark “TCD” or the right to describe themselves as a society, Trinity News has learned.

Speaking to Trinity News, CSC Secretary Benjamin McConkey said that as the “TCD Pro-Life Society” are not recognised by the CSC they therefore do not have the right to use College trademarks. Trinity currently holds the trademark in Ireland over the use of the initialism “TCD”.

McConkey stated that the CSC, as the “sole body on campus with the power to grant recognition to societies . . . has not recognised this grouping as a society” and therefore regards the use of College trademarks by the group as “ in contravention of College’s Trademark Policy”.

McConkey further added that “the “TCD Pro-Life Society” and other “non-ratified” groups who call themselves societies undermine the “rigorous vetting process the CSC employs, thus undermining the hard work of existing societies and those trying to start societies”. He added  that “upholding this policy is important to the CSC”.

McConkey told Trinity News that “when such instances are brought to the attention of the CSC, we inform the relevant group that they may not continue to use these trademarks”. However, at the time of publishing the “TCD Pro-Life Society” have not changed their branding on any of their social media. The group did not respond to repeated requests for comment on this issue.

The “TCD Pro-Life Society” established as a group in October 2018 but have only recently changed their name from “Students for Life” to the “”TCD Pro-Life Society””.

The group’s Facebook page describes the group as “Trinity College Dublin’s unofficial Pro-Life Student group” and states their aim and objective as “to actively promote action and discussion, on and off campus, through social, political and other means, on issues pertaining to the pro-life lifestyle and world view.

The group have organised social events as well as a talk held last weekend by the Bioethicist Michael Wee on “Euthanasia, Ethics and the Law.” 

The group have also taken part in political protests and demonstrations such as the “March for Their Lives”, a pro-life march held in Belfast in September and the “Rally for Life” that held in Dublin in July. The group would not be permitted to take part in these political actions, were they to become a recognised society under the CSC.

Representatives from the group did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Trinity News.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.