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Monday, December 6 12:00 AM ET

Canada Purchases Rights to "The Land of the Free" from USA

By Jonathan Menon

Washington, D.C. - The Department of Commerce announced today that the Government of Canada has purchased worldwide intellectual property (IP) rights to the motto "The Land of the Free" for an undisclosed sum.

The well-known phrase is from the closing bars of the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key. The announcement was made to coincide with President George W. Bush's visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, this week. President Bush is making his first state visit to Canada since he took office.

"At Kellogg's, one of our core strengths has been the skillful management of brand assets," explained Secretary of Commerce nominee and former Kellogg's CEO Carlos Gutierrez. "A brand identity is a group of values and feelings that is most valuable when it faithfully speaks for the ideals or products of an organization. When a brand no longer reflects an organization's ideals, the best course of action is to extract as much equity from it as possible. After November 2nd, this became the most profitable choice for the American people."

The 'Land of the Free' designation possesses what branding experts call 'high brand equity', explained Cynthia Woods, Vice President of Brand Management at Global Texan Inc., a leading Houston corporate branding and PR firm. "Millions of Americans have striven to build brand value during the two centuries since Independence. We have braved dangerous native peoples, subdued vast, unspoiled wildernesses, and engaged sacrificially in several just wars," she explained. "Even though these threats have been wiped out, and such sacrifices may no longer seem relevant today, we cannot dismiss the financial value that has been generated by these activities."

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"If a Kleenex no longer cleans your nose, then what's the point of calling it that?" said President Bush. "Freedom comes at a high price," he added soberly. "It would be unfortunate and unwise not to get something for it."

"We are delighted to have closed this agreement with our great neighbor to the south," said Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. "As Canadians, we have always prided ourselves on our open and just society. Today's agreement will give Canadians both the permission and the governmental protection they need to be the standard-bearers for freedom on this continent."

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