WSC reports on FIFA’s attempts to prevent ambush marketing relating to the you-know-what. Afro-IP comments (and reproduces the ad in question).
Plaintiffs Soccer United Marketing and Major League Soccer have a dominant position in marketing soccer (FIFA and MLS) in the U.S. It grants sector licenses and Makita is the ‘offical power tool’ of plaintiffs. Defendant Black & Decker’s DeWalt sub allegedly practiced ‘ambush marketing’ by offering ticket giveaways and tail-gate parties associated with soccer. Plaintiffs sue on TM grounds as well as breach of contract (arising from the license on the tickets).
In September, we reported on a D NJ case in which the Philadelphia Eagles sued a local radio station for ‘ambush marketing,’ including the use of tickets in a give-away. That case settled, pursuant to which defendant was enjoined from further ticket give-aways and use of the Eagles’ marks.
Complaint Ambush Marketing Sum Mls Dewalt
San Francisco Chronicle: “NFL Marketers Want ‘Big Game’ Trademark”:
“One way that advertisers who aren’t NFL sponsors typically attach themselves to the Super Bowl is simply to refer to it as “The Big Game.” As in, “Get your flat-screen TV in time for the Big Game.”
What is a generic term for most people becomes a very specific term in the lamp-blacked eyes of the NFL.
But the Big Game also has a very specific application for Stanford University and UC Berkeley, whose annual football game dates back to 1892. It has been known as the Big Game since 1902, according to San Francisco author Ron Fimrite, who is writing a history of Cal football.”
Also, Canada.com weighs in, attributing the story to us.
International Herald Tribune:”Can’t tell the sponsors without a scorecard”
Continuing our in-depth coverage of ambush marketing in honor of the World Cup, we note that Lufthansa is painting soccer balls on the nose of its planes, to the annoyance of FIFA, and to Air Emirates, which paid a lot of money to FIFA for the right to tell consumers that it paid a lot of money to FIFA.
Practice pointer: If you client will engage in ambush marketing, advise that it avoid statements such as this:
“People might think we are a sponsor,” said Amelie Lorenz, a spokeswoman for Lufthansa, “but that’s good for us.”
World Cup 2006 is the official world soccer championship of The Trademark Blog.
BrandRepublic: “Fifa triumphs in World Cup trademark spat with Ferrero” (Nov 2005)
DW-World.de: “Business and Events at Mercy of FIFA’s Trademark Control.’ (March 2006)
Prague Post: “Court Ruling in Germany eases companies’ uses of FIFA World Cup in marketing campaigns.’ (May 31, 2006)
Yahoo Sports: World Cup Fever hits Germany, from sex stores to department stores (June 2006)
TheLawyer.com: “Forget Argentina and Brazil” Ben Moshinsky looks at the key players in the mission to protect Fifa’s World Cup IP. (May 2006)