When the Catholic church starts to incorporate intellectual property law into its practices you know they're just adding one more problem to the mountain of problems they already have.
Among them, entirely new things about which to be ignorant!
The Vatican made a declaration on the protection of the figure of the Pope on Saturday morning. The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.
The statement cited a "great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father" in recent years as contributing to a desire to use the Pontiff's name for all manner of educational and cultural institutions, civic groups and foundations.
Due to this demand, the Vatican has felt it necessary to declare that "it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church."
The declaration alludes to attempts to use ecclesiastical or pontifical symbols and logos to "attribute credibility and authority to initiatives" as another reason to establish their “copyright” on the Holy Father's name, picture and coat of arms.
Not only have they now put their institution on a par with Scientology, but they have opened themselves up to parody and ridicule, which (ask any lawyer; I'm not a lawyer) is immune to assertions such as the above.
Brilliant move, fellas. And it just gave PZ Myers another way to figuratively flip the bird at these folk.