Aikido ™ – Can it really be trademarked?

合気会

Reg. No.2313434, June 28, 1991 – Registered Trademark "Aikikai"
Here’s something that caught my eye from "Best Aikido, The Fundamentals" (Kisshomaru Ueshiba Doshu and Moriteru Ueshiba Hombu Dojo-cho), which was published in 1997 as 「規範合氣道基本編」 in Japanese:
Q:合気道の分派はあるのですか。
A:確かに巷には合気会とは別に「○○合気道」と名乗っている団体が存在します。 中には、素姓の知れぬ訳の判らぬようなものもあるようです。しかし、開祖・植芝盛平に連ならないもの、その教えを逸脱したものは、いかに外見を似せようが、深遠そうな哲理を語ろうが、合気道ではありません。 例えば、競技試合を行っているようなものは明らかに合気道本来の姿を忘れたもので、合気道と呼ぶことはできません。私どもで言う合気道には分派は存在しないと考えています。分派がいくつもあるという考えは、それ自体が合気道を貶(おとし)めるものでしょう。
Q:Are there different schools of Aikido?
A:To be sure, there are many systems that claim to be "such-and-such Aikido," even without really knowing what Aikido is. And there are some splinter groups that have been established by former students of the Founder, with a few even going so far as to introduce organized competition, something that is totally contrary to the spirit of Aikido. Regardless of how similar the techniques appear, if they are divorced from the spirit of the Founder it is not Aikido.
We do not like to think that there are separate schools of Aikido. If we draw too many distinctions between different interpretations of the techniques, the universal character of Aikido will be degraded.