Tournament News

FIFA win case against SA pub

2009-04-20 12:52
FIFA boss Sepp Blatter (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - FIFA has won a court case against a Pretoria tavern which displayed the words "World Cup 2010" on various signage.

On Monday, a law firm working with FIFA said the High Court in Pretoria's ruling against Eastwoods Tavern was the first against "ambush marketers".

"It sends out a clear signal to any other organisation considering ambush marketing that they will suffer untoward consequences," said Owen Dean, a partner at intellectual property law firm Spoor and Fisher, in a statement.

"FIFA... has the will, the team and the wherewithal to prevent ambush marketing."

The Eastwoods Tavern, located close to the Loftus Versfeld stadium - one of the cup venues - had placed the legend "World Cup 2010" below its main sign on the roof.

It also erected banners featuring the flags of prominent soccer-playing countries with the numeral 2010 and "Twenty Ten South Africa" written on them.

Dean said he believed that since the judgment was made earlier this month, the pub, as ordered by the court, had taken down all the signage referring to the cup. The pub would also pay all FIFA's legal costs.

"This judgment is timely, coming two months before the Confederations Cup tournament, the dress rehearsal for the 2010 World Cup, and just over a year before the main tournament itself," said Dean.

FIFA and Spoor and Fisher had been working together on a trademark registration programme for the cup since 2004.

The cup, being designated by the trade and industry ministry as a protected event, meant trademarks like "South African 2010" and "World Cup 2010" could not be used, except by official sponsors.

Dean said official sponsors of the event paid large fees to obtain exclusive advertising exposure through the tournament.

"Detracting from the exclusive rights given to sponsors could seriously damage FIFA and indeed place the staging of a World Cup in jeopardy," he said.


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