La Liga was fined with 250 000 Euro for breaching GDPR

pexels-photo-2101030The organizer of the Spanish top football division La Liga was fined with $250 000 because of breach of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.

The reason for that sanction was the La Liga practice potentially to use its mobile app to spy whether bars and restaurants show football matches without paying license fees.  According to the information, this could be done through phones microphones.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency considered this as breaching of the GDPR.

According to La Liga, this decision was wrong and unfair because the Agency failed to understand the mobile app technology and how it works.

Source: TBO.

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Neymar won a dispute about his name in EU

brazil-germany-1201762_960_720.jpgThe well-known Brazilian footballer Neymar has won a trademark dispute before the General Court of the European Union.

The case concerns a registered in 2012 European trademark NEYMAR in class 25  – Clothing, footwear, headgear, owned by Carlos Moreira.

The footballer filed a request for invalidation of this mark based on a claim that it is filed in bad faith.

The EUIPO invalidated the mark because of which Moreira appealed the decision.

The General Court confirmed the EUIPO conclusions that this sign has been filed in a bad faith.

According to the court, there were sufficient pieces of evidence that clearly showed the celebrity status of Neymar at the time when the application was filed. Because of his rising career, many football clubs have interest in him at that time. This generated serious media coverage.

In that regard, the Moreira’s claims that he didn’t know who Neymar was were dismissed.

Another negative point for Moreira was that at the moment when he filed an application for this trademark he did the same for another mark Iker Casillas which is the name of the former Real Madrid goalkeeper.

Source: WIPR.

MLS and David Beckham attacked Inter Milan in The US

football-1406106_960_720.jpgThe US Major League Soccer (MLS) filed an opposition against a US trademark application for INTER owned by the Italian football club Inter Milan for classes 9, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, 41.

The main ground for this opposition was lack of distinctiveness and descriptiveness of the word INTER in relation to the football goods and services.

MLS started this proceeding because of its plans for the new Inter Miami football club, which will start playing in the league in 2020. The president and one of the shareholders in this club is David Beckham.

According to the trademark law in The US and around the world, the trademark owner has the right to use the mark, dispose of it and to prohibit third parties of using it.

In light of this, MLS considers the word INTER as not distinctive for the reason of which it has not to be monopolized by any sport club bearing in mind how many clubs use it such as Inter Turku, Inter Leipzig, Inter Baku, Inter de Grand-Goave, NK Inter Zapresic, Inter Moengotapoe, Inter de Luanda. Inter Club d’Escaldes, Inter Atlanta FC.

It is highly likely that this opposition will be successful but for goods and services which regard football as a sport. For those of the goods and services, however, where INTER has inherited distinctiveness, the trademark can be registered which at least will give some merchandising advantages to Inter Milan.

Most likely there will be negotiations between the clubs.

Source: SI.com.

UEFA failed to register its well-known logo as a copyrighted work in the US

pexels-photo-1093645The European Football Association UEFA failed in its attempt to register the following well-known logo as a copyrighted work in US Copyright Office:

Starball

Although this registration is not mandatory it is helpful in particular of copyright infringements and lawsuits.

The reason for this refusal was a lack of originality which is one of the main requirements for such registration. Despite the low level of originality which is necessary to protect a copyright work in the case at hand the Office considered that this is not accomplished because the mere combination of stars in a circle is insufficient in that regard.

UEFA tried its best to claim that this logo was original at least because it creates a three-dimensional illusion in the consumer mind, but all to no avail. The Office dismissed this leaning on Section 310 (3) of US Copyright Office Practice, according to which the Office would only need to consider the objective appearance of the work and not the “symbolic meaning or impression” that a work may evoke.

Source: IP KAT.

Premier League scored a goal in oppositions against similar trademarks in the UK

The UK Premier League won oppositions against the following UK trademark applications for Class 41:

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The applicant International Group Management Limited sought registrations for these marks regarding football video competitions.

The marks which were been used as a ground for the oppositions were Premier League’, ‘Fantasy Premier League’ and the following combined mark:

GB50000000003148844

According to Premier League, its trademarks have a reputation based on a longstanding use in the UK and in light of this, the later similar marks try to take an advantage of this reputation.

International Group Management Limited counterclaimed that the dominant element of their marks was Esports, while Premier League possesses only a descriptive meaning.

The UKIPO ruled that the marks are similar because the dominant element in all of them is Premier League, which has a serious reputation among the consumers in the country based on which they can consider that a possible economic connection exists between both companies.

Source: WIPR.

 

Messi won an important lawsuit in the EU

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The General Court of the European Union ruled in a trademark case which involves the well-known footballer Lionel Messi.

The case started back in 2011 when the footballer applied for a European trademark MESSI for sports clothes, shoes etc.

Against this application, an opposition was filed based on an earlier mark MASSI for the same Classes of goods, owned by a Spanish company.

The EUIPO upheld the opposition, which decision was appealed.

According to the Court, although there is a similarity between both signs which cover similar and identical goods, there is no serious possibility for consumer confusion due to the existing world reputation, publicity and celebrity status of Lionel Messi.

The Court considers that taking into account the sports goods which are covered in the footballer’s mark, most of the consumers will associate his mark with his name, and not with the earlier Spanish mark.

This case shows clearly how important is the reputation and publicity in regard to trademarks belonging to persons.

Source: WIPR.

 

 

Wembley v Wembley Stadium: 0-1

The Wembley semi-professional  football club is on the way to lose its flowing European trademark registered for Classes 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 25, 28, 32, 33, 35, 41, 43:

CJ4JX4FZVCC523YA2TMALSKFLHYPR7FBEFKMEOSGVOJRWQLN2DAGGSQIAVVAX55WZOUI5WSMGEC64

Although this mark received successful registration in 2012, four years later a procedure for cancellation was initiated by the Wembley Stadium based on a bunch of earlier trademarks Wembley Stadium and Wembley.

EUIPO issued a decision for cancellation one month ago. The reasons behind this are that the marks share identical or similar goods and the signs themselves are similar taking into account the fact that the dominant and distinctive element is Wembley. On top of that Wembley Stadium gave various pieces of evidence that its trademarks have acquired well-known status among consumers for the last 90 years.

This case is interesting because it clearly shows that not only the registration is vital for the future use of one mark but the initial search and clearing actions which goal is to secure the trademark use against such negative consequences.

Source: Lexology.