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World Cup Brands

By: Jaime Israel Davila, Attorney.

Intellectual property always gives the various players in the sports and entertainment industries tools to protect their most valuable assets. At this year’s, and times, World Cup, it is worth reviewing how FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) took advantage of this situation in its favor.

In our country, the aforementioned sports organization had at least 18 registered and current trademarks with the name QATAR 2022, which gives it exclusivity in its use in various products and services, ranging from entertainment, logistics, and communication services to products like clothes and vehicles of all kinds.

If we take into account that trademarks are valid for 10 years and that the World Cup lasts 1 month, the following question arises: Is it worth the expense of trademark registrations? And the benefit is even more questionable when we realize that the expense was not only made in Mexico but also in most countries in the world.

The answer, although simple, is sometimes not obvious. FIFA allocates large resources to the protection of the assets most used in World Cups (in this case “QATAR 2022) as it gives it a powerful tool against any person or company that wants to obtain profit (or additional profit) by relating its activity with the silk of the world. This is because by holding exclusive rights to trademark registrations, FIFA can take legal action against anyone using the QATAR 2022 trademarks in commerce to stop such issues.

It is important to take into account that, although the sporting event lasts 1 month, the “euphoria” and what it implies (in terms of the trade it generates), generally begins to gain relevance months before the opening match (even years before in the case purchase of plane tickets or rental of places to stay) and also has some lifetime after the event is over, so it is to be expected that various companies or people who have no relationship with the event and/or with FIFA want to take advantage of the situation to offer services and/or products with the additional attraction of linking it to the World Cup and that is where FIFA, opportunely and with the registration titles in hand, can stop them with legal action.

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