Tag Archives: Intellectual Property

Prettiest Ambush I’ve ever seen!!!

August 26, 2010


Jon and I had the following article, “Ambush marketing: FIFA’s rights protection programme” recently published in the World Sports Law Reports (WSLR).

“Amidst the buzzing of the Vuvuzela’s and the occasional officiating error, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa will also be remembered for the expulsion of 36 orange mini-skirt wearing women from a match and
the subsequent prosecution (and then dropping) of charges against the two alleged ‘ringleaders’ behind the incident. Whilst titillating, this is not just a story about beautiful women being used to market a product. The real story is about the lengths to which companies will go to exploit loop-holes in the existing law and what implications these campaigns have for tackling counter-insurgency actions at future events. The article will conclude by examining how FIFA and Anheuser-Busch (the official beer sponsor) were so comprehensively ambushed that Bavaria rocketed from unmeasurable before the ambush to the fifth most visited beer website in the UK,  while Nike’s unofficial ‘Write the Future’ campaign was widely viewed as the most successful marketing campaign of the World Cup……”

The Editors have kindly allowed us permission to make the full article available on the blog as a pdf download: WSLRaug10lines[1]

The ‘Bavaria’ girls in question:

DimDim girls:

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Pirate broadcasts (yo-ho-ho!)

March 11, 2009

1 Comment

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/7902769.stm

see also the following 2006 legal article by Stephen Sampson: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VB3-4KTPS50-B&_user=2631370&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000058272&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=2631370&md5=46c0328ceb95405e9e04e92d2ed0b241


Premier League lawyer, Oliver Weingarten, told the BBC last month that the most popular sites that stream illegal live football attract up to a quarter of a million viewers for a single game!


However, while the Premier League, and a number of other rights holders from other sports, plan to target the sites showing these games rather than the viewers (and have taken legal action already against five of these sites), many of the more popular sites are based abroad. This raises a number of International Intellectual Property issues and given the current controversy about music sites such as Pirate Bay, potentially reduces the chances of a successful conviction.


While Weingarten suggests that such legal action is necessary to protect the atmosphere at stadiums, and ensure that clubs have enough gate / catering receipts to continue their operations and pay their players salaries,  in a credit crunch, such an argument may carry little weight with fans. Indeed, a quick search of the internet and bulletin boards reveals a number of links advertising free streaming (If the IT dept of Staffordshire University is reading this, I didn’t click on any of them, honest!!!)  Maybe what is therefore needed is a re-evaluation of the industry much like Itunes revolutionised music and pre-empted a debate on music licensing, we need a similar debate over access to sports events? Anybody fancy starting such a debate below?

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Cyber-squatting on the increase

March 10, 2009


Sources:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7929360.stm

To get a full copy of the report: http://www.markmonitor.com/cta/bji-review2008/?Lead_Source_Mktg=web


A report by MarkMonitor has identified that cyber-squatting (where someone registers a domain name belonging to someone else) has risen by 18% in 2008 to 1,722,133 incidents and it is now one of the most popular methods used by fraudsters. Perhaps worryingly, the report also adds that 80% of these sites that were in existence last year have not been removed.


Guess we’d better hope that Warner Brothers have no plans for Tweetie Pie to take a law degree, otherwise we’ll have to change the blog’s name!


(A funny example which illustrates how companies can use this technique of misspelling website names can be seen below by ComparetheMarket.com)



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FIA lift restrictions on Stepney & Coughlan

February 19, 2009


Source: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/73154 ; http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12479_3805822,00.html

Max Mosley has revealed that the Federation Internationale d’Autosport (FIA) has now lifted its restrictions, six months earlier, on Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan working with motorsport teams. 

“The other day we got a letter from the lawyers of one of them saying he has got this restriction and this restriction, and it does seem a little bit mad to make them serve out even longer when the two teams concerned are all making love to each other,” Mosley said. “So, we have said we will let them forget it. In the end they were just very minor players. If the full story came out, they are two minor players and there are people who are not minor players. But the full story will probably never come out.”

·         Stepney (who is now working as Director of Race Technologies at on-board camera company – Gigawave) and Coughlan (who is now working for Ricardo Transmissions) were both fired by McLaren & Ferrari respectively for passing confidential information between the teams in 2007. The FIA also recommended that all license holders should be wary of working with either Stepney or Coughlan until July 2009, although they could not legally enforce this ban.


·         McLaren were fined $100 million and excluded from the 2007 constructors’ championship over the affair.


·         Criminal charges were also brought against Coughlan and three other Senior McLaren engineers (Paddy Lowe, Jonathan Neale & Rob Taylor) by Italian magistrates, however these charges have now been dropped in exchange for paying fines and not contesting the charges of copyright infringement of Ferrari data. McLaren have agreed to pay each of the three engineers 180,000 Euro fines, but have declined to confirm who will be paying Coughlan’s 180,000 Euro fine.

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Eden Park – but for how much longer?

February 19, 2009


Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/rugby_union/article5407821.ece

The owners of Eden Park, Auckland are redeveloping and upgrading the capacity of the stadium from 47,500 to 60,000 in preparation for hosting the 2011 Rugby Union World Cup. It was reported this week however that there is a shortfall of £4.6 million on the budget and that consultants in Melbourne and London were looking into various commercial opportunities, including selling the naming rights to the stadium, to make up the money.

Any suggestions for names?

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