UK MoD Equipment Designations

Bit of an unorthodox question today, a kind of legal question if you will.

In the wonderful world of US law, the precedent is established that official US DOD equipment designations cannot be copyrighted/trademarked (I realize that’s a gross simplification, but bear with me). That is to say, if I make a game and it has an M4 carbine in it, Colt can’t come after me for trademark infringement – “M4 carbine” is a DOD designation for a piece of equipment and so as long as I don’t use any references to Colt, I’m pretty much in the green. The same is true of things like depictions of the AH-64, UH-1, F-16, AV-8, etc.

What I’m less familiar with is UK law on a similar matter. You have Harrier GR.4, Tornado GR.4, etc. which are also used by the corporations that build them. BAe Harrier, Panavia Tornado, and so on are, I assume, trademarks owned by the parent companies. So if I were to make a game that includes a depiction of a Harrier, Tornado, Jaguar, Lynx, etc., would I have to use fake designations or would I be covered using the UK MoD designations, just like the US DOD?

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