2012: A Year of Sports – and Designers Beware

We are all licking our lips with anticipation of the two main sports events this year. In June, the 14th European Football Championships will be held in Poland and Ukraine, and the Olympic games will be hosted in London. But before you start creating new designs to honour the events, we would like to (again) direct your attention to the legal side of things. It is a bit tricky, so please ensure that your shop does not violate any copyrights.

Trademarks and logos of third parties are an absolute no-go. This applies to logos and trademarks with IOC and UEFA copyrights as well as trademarks of sponsors and other parties involved. These are the most important and prominent sponsors:

Olympics: BMW, Adidas, Panasonic, Omega, Samsung, Visa

You can find a comprehensive list of sponsors on the website.

UEFA’s official partners are Canon, Carlsberg, Castrol, Coca Cola and McDonalds, to name but a few. You will also find a comprehensive list of sponsors on their official homepage. Ferrero, for example, ranks among the most important merchandising companies for UEFA.

There are also a few special trademark registrations such as Euro 2012 as well as London 2012. Even the number 2012 cannot be used at will – the reasoning here is that the number alone could not be used for merchandising on the ground of its numeric value alone. Put into a different context, e.g. by using a slogan called [summer holidays 2012], it then would be absolutely possible to use this number.

Moreover, UEFA has secured trademark right for the logo and design mark of the cup itself, which means that any graphic depiction resembling this cup cannot be done by a third party.

You can do some research to find a list of specified legally valid European trademarks:

You can also enter “UEFA“ or “Comité International Olympique“ to find out which registered trademarks these organizations have.

If you want to find more information on possible consequences of a copyright infringement, please read our blog entry on the sports events and copyrights from 2010.

On this topic, we also created a thread on the forum that you can use for feedback, questions or suggestions.

6 comments Write a comment

  1. I not to mention my guys were actually checking the good guides located on your web blog while quickly got an awful feeling I had not thanked you for those tips. The boys happened to be absolutely very interested to read through all of them and have now pretty much been loving those things. Thanks for being really helpful and also for deciding on such good ideas most people are really eager to understand about. My sincere apologies for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

  2. Well done for taking the trouble to educate us where it’s needed. I do believe the IOC is a little too hard-line in their requirements and should provision some kind of concession for people to celebrate the games in thier own country, commercially or not.