Federal Supreme Court lifts FIFA´s trade mark protection

The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has annulled the trade mark protection claimed by the FIFA for the wordings “Fußball WM 2006” and “WM 2006”. “Thanks to the BGHs verdict not only all producers of visual displays or notebooks, but also any building centre or pizza baker are entitled to promote their businesses by means of the football world cup without having to fear dissuasions and injunctions”, reports among others the new magazine for ITK marketing”target:IT” which is available in paper form and as PDF for download. According to the magazine, the sponsor protection promised by the FIFA has failed. The BGH judges ruled that the linguistic marking of the sports event cannot be regarded as a trade mark since it lacks the necessary characterizing and distinguishing features (also see “Zur Fußball-WM drohen Abmahnungen und Lizenzkosten” as well as “WM-Übertragungen in Unternehmen sind umstritten“). GERMAN