Trade Mark Issue

Some individual of a shady reputation in Whitechapel is trying to register "NO:ID" as a trade mark for his company (itself under the weired name of "repiblik london"). We disagree! We understand NO:ID to be under a GPL, that means, you can use it for non-commercial purposes, and if you want to use it commercially, you need our permission. Here's the story!

NO:ID as a trade mark

NO:ID was first used by us as title for a screen printing workshop, that was held from 2005 in East London locations, such as Rampart St., Ben Johnson Road, and Calvert Avenue. The aim was to disseminate the knowledge of screen printing, as print production is a brilliant tool to get messages and artworks out to a larger audience, and generate an income for those who produce these prints. These workshops were attended by about half a dozen people each week, from all walks of live, biased towards fine artists, designers, and street artists.

NO:ID t-shirt 2 1/2 years old

In 2007, a loose group of people started organising exhibitions in Calvert Avenue, office premises of Tower Hamlets, and the screen print workshop moved there. The gallery adopted the name of NO:ID, since the aim was to present unknown art, by the unknown for the unknown, and art about creating identities rather than following pre-administed identities. Jan continued holding his screen printing workshops as part of said projects, and established this website and the newsletter as to promote the exhibitions and other activities.

Flyer BBC Photography Section, 2008

Unfortunately, the gallery project ran into trouble from two sides: the council did not legitimise the project, and without that backing, it got taken over by a group of gangsters who started frequenting the premises, using it for certain business practises, and finally set fire to the whole place. The newsletter, however, continued to advertise activities of artists who had shown or performed. NO:ID became a - homeless - network of artists.

Jan continued to hold screen printing workshops at various locations, among them Passing Clouds, and The Others, and producing prints for a large number of fine artists, musicians, and community groups throughout the years. The name NO:ID, in capital letters with the colon, was used to advertise these printing services and products through the years. Some of the band customers are listed here.

Then, in 2009, Jan got offered premises at the present address, 31 Commercial Road, to continue organising exhibitions. The artists listed here have shown there since. The first exhibition featured large screen prints of a masked face with "NO:ID written on it, and a limited edition run of t-shirts with this design got sold. Despite being just a space, NO:ID has continued being a network, and the newsletter and website have been used by a large group of people to promote their cultural events in East London, and abroad.

Janmaat - 'NO:ID' (conceptual prints)

A few weeks after opening the gallery on 31 Commercial Road, Pauline Hall and Steven Mallaghan designed the logo that is now used throughout the gallerys advertisement. It got stenciled on the outside of 31 Commercial Road. Jan printed and sold t-shirts bearing this logo from 31 Commercial road with quite some success - success which seems to have attracted the spirits of certain businessmen in the area. A company called "Repiblic London" (no spelling mistake by the writer of these lines!), registered on the other side of the block, has attempted to register "NO:ID" as trade mark for garments. The people running that business have a certain reputation in Whitechapel.

Their trade mark application can be seen online on the page of the Intellectial Property Office here:

Jan has opposed this attempted registration as clearly, somebody is trying to jump on the band wagon and use the success of a name already built up over years. He believes that NO:ID should not be owned by anybody, but it should remain possible for anyone to continue using this brand in good faith and in cooperation with the collective / network that is NO:ID.

You can support the effort to keep NO:ID from registration by filling out a witness statement following this example, or by donating towards the case or purchasing a genuine NO:ID t-shirt.

NO:ID gallery is continueing to support the arts, and the freedom of the individual to express itself through ars.

Steven Mallaghan - 'New Works' (conceptual prints)