The Ongoing Commercial Olympics
29 July 2013 by Ashton Carter
It has been 12 months since London hosted the hugely successful Olympic Games of 2012. Whilst the Games certainly aided the UK’s somewhat fragile economy, it has certainly not all been smooth-sailing for the masses of companies and brands seeking to benefit from the additional publicity and increased opportunity for sales of products, services and additional marketing to be had in conjunction with the Games.
Despite the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (‘LOCOG’) stringently protecting the various intellectual property associated with the 2012 Games, this has not stopped a whole variety of companies and businesses attempting to find a way to make the Games boost their own profitability. Not just whilst the Games were ongoing, but also in the long-term.
The most famous investigation into such potential intellectual property infringement and more specifically, violation of the regulation of ‘ambush marketing’, was that of one of the leading worldwide sportswear companies, who, whilst not being an official sponsor nor partner of the Games, nonetheless launched an advertising campaign featuring ordinary athletes competing around the world in places named London.
Whilst this matter was eventually resolved with a verdict that such a campaign narrowly avoided the stringent rules against such potential ‘ambush marketing’, we are now one year on from the conclusion of the Games and the London 2012 legal team remains ongoing in their investigations into further potential breaches of both its registered intellectual property and the ‘ambush marketing’ rules by all types of companies, businesses, brands and promotional campaigns.
Ashton Carter, commercial Solicitor at law firm QualitySolicitors Fisher Jones Greenwood commented, “The commercial opportunities created from the 2012 Olympics were vast; if you got your products, services and marketing right, then the possibilities over the last 18 months have been on a scale to match the games.
Of course with an event and a brand as big as the Olympics, the legal restrictions are extremely tightly controlled and the pitfalls to businesses of getting it wrong can have just as much impact as getting it right.”
As a result, any business that used or continues to use the 2012 Games as a source of its ongoing promotional materials, needs to consider the protected intellectual property as registered by LOCOG in relation to the Games, as well as the stringent rules against ‘ambush marketing’. Breach of either can carry serious consequences, including but not limited to legal proceedings being initiated for large-scale damages, injunctive relief and other available legal remedies.
At QualitySolicitors Fisher Jones Greenwood, we can advise you as to whether your company, business or its promotional campaigns or marketing materials are potentially infringing upon the London 2012 intellectual property rules, or as to whether such promotions are likely to infringe or have infringed the relevant ‘ambush marketing’ rules. For further advice please contact Ashton Carter in our Commercial Department on 01206 835 230 or email at [email protected] You can also find out more on the commercial pages of our website here.