World Cup, Soccer and Trademarks

Currently, all eyes are on the World Cup in Brazil. Of course, a lot of people would like to participate in the big success of the soccer game between the different nations. But, to advertise and promote with the World Cup without a license can be a legal disaster and very expensive. Fact is that FIFA has protected a lot of logos, words, titles, symbols and other trademarks in relation to the 2014 FIFA World Cup which it will use, or allow others to use, under a formal agreement. (one of the protected trademarks: German trademark register number: 011529311 ).

World Cup

If trademarks were not protected, there would be no reason to become an official sponsor (a so called Commercial Affiliate) and to invest into the FIFA World Cup. Only Commercial Affiliates have the exclusive right to use the trademarks around the World Cup. Advertising with the FIFA trademarks is so lucrative for companies because millions of people are interested in the World Cup and therefore it is easy for the consumers to identify with products which they connect with this event. As a result of that, the advertisement with the World Cup encourages them to choose certain goods or services over others.And, of course, advertising with the World Cup is more effective if not everybody is allowed to use them.To use the protected trademarks without receiving a license by FIFA could have legal consequences including the payment of high damages. However advertisement in relation to the World Cup could be permitted if the statement is just descriptiveand does not violate moral standards.  In this case it should also be clear that there are no relations to the FIFA or the Commercial Affiliates because that would be a deception of origin. Therefore, the admissibility of each advertisement is an individual case and should be checked by a lawyer before being used. To find the offical guidelines for use of offical FIFA marks, follow the link: