IP, Brand Protection & Image Rights
Sport is an IP rich industry and our leading contentious and non-contentious IP lawyers help clients in the sector protect, exploit and manage their IP rights across the world.
Our in house trade mark team manage portfolios for a number of sports organisations, advising on efficient trade mark filing strategies, providing watching services and dealing with oppositions. In doing so we adapt to the client’s needs advising on best practice or taking a more pragmatic approach, achieving optimum results within the given budget.
Our IP litigators have advised on various high profile cases, including acting for Premier League clubs in trade mark disputes, athletes in defamation cases, and assisting various clients in taking a proactive stance against counterfeiters.
We also advise athletes, agents and clubs on the protection and exploitation of image rights, and advise brands and rights holders on ambush marketing issues, including specialist issues such as Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter.
Examples of our recent work include:
- managing international trade mark portoflios for several sports rights holders, including dealing with applications and oppositions through our in house trade marks team
- acting for a Premier League club in the defence of trade mark invalidation proceedings
- advising a Premier League player on his defamation claim against a national newspaper
- acting for various brands and marketing agencies in relation to IP, image rights and ambush marketing issues arising from marketing campaigns linked to major sports events
- providing advice on the practical and legal aspects of designing and implementing a brand protection programme for a sporting mega-event
- providing UK trade mark advice for one of the biggest global superstars of sport
Can my business run a promotion celebrating the Olympics? Alex Kelham writes for The Times20 July 2021
Many businesses will be buzzing with ideas of how to capitalise on the long-awaited Olympics this month. While you can certainly get into the spirit of it, there are strict rules in place to protect the Olympic and TeamGB brands.
Pensioner sues Wolverhampton Wanderers over design of logo13 June 2019
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club have succeeded in defending a copyright claim in which the claimant contended that he designed their distinctive wolf head logo over 40 years ago.
International Trade Marks20 May 2019
Whilst there is no single trade mark registration that covers the entire world, knowledge of the various regional and international filing systems means that global protection can be achieved with greater ease and less expense than filing national trade mark applications in each country.
European Union Trade Marks20 May 2019
A European Union trade mark (“EUTM”) is a single trade mark registration that provides trade mark protection in 28 of the European Union territories. This will change to 27 territories if/when the UK leaves the EU.
Sports Q&A - What are your top five legal tips for the transfer window?25 January 2019
Whether you’re a junior lawyer whose recently started work in a football club or are just a fan who wants to know what legal issues might be holding up a deal to get a player signed, this month's Q+A on the top five legal tips for the transfer window should be of interest.
Alex Kelham comments for City A.M: 'Why has Colin Kaepernick filed a trade mark of his image?'30 October 2018
In an article for City A.M, Alex Kelham comments on former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick seeking to protect his assets by filing a trade mark in the US and discusses athletes' efforts to protect their personal brands.
Lewis Silkin will be attending the International Trademark Association INTA 140th annual meeting19 May 2018
Our team will be attending the INTA annual meeting in Seattle on 19-24 May 2018 and will be hosting an INTA Drinks reception on Sunday 20 May.