The Krakow Municipal Council has decided to patent the hejnał bugle call, played from the top of St. Mary's Basilica every hour on the hour in the southern city's market square.
The Council wants to protect the sound as a trademark for the promotion of the city and the surrounding borough.
"If the hejnał is used for the promotion of Kraków, then people will still be able to use the sound," reports Filip Szatanik, the Municipal press officer in the southern city. "However we will now have the right to intervene if the sound is not used directly to promote the city, but rather for commercial products and the like, that's the idea behind the trademark."
Mr. Szatanik added in an interview on Polish Radio that the patent office has already received all the relevant paperwork dealing with Krakow's sonic trademark.
The legend of the hejnal bugle call dates back from the Middle Ages, when the Mongols invaded Poland, including Krakow. It is said that the distinct conclusion to the call is an echo of the siege of Krakow during the 13th century, when a Mongol arrow shot Krakow's bugle caller through the neck, bringing the warning call to an abrupt end.
It remains an iconic sound in Poland, and is broadcast live by Polish national radio every day at noon.