UKIPO blows whistle on famous footballer name applications

With the thousands of trade marks registered in the UK, there are certainly some famous faces within them.

Many celebrities have recognised the importance of brand protection and have filed a trade mark for their name.

While names can be protected as a trade mark and in the UK, the rights of a person to stop someone using their likeness are limited in the UK.

Nevertheless, a recent application caught the attention of the UK Intellectual Property Office for the wrong reasons.

James Dear filed a trade mark application of the names of famous footballers Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry. Dear claimed that due to a lack of personality rights, and also a lack of existing registered trade marks, he was able to register the names.

The UK Intellectual Property Office considered the matter and refused the applications on the basis that such were filed in bad faith and are likely to confuse the public into thinking products or services are endorsed by the stars. The UKIPO distinguished these applications from previous registrations successfully filed by Dear including Tommy Gemmell’s name, due to the recent applications being much more famous and recognisable.

If you would like to discuss how to protect your brand, get in touch with the Trademarkroom team today.

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