Negotiations for the appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager of Manchester United FC have stalled due to pre-existing image rights.
It transpires that the rights to use various JOSE MOURINHO Marks, including Mr Mourinho’s signature, have been registered to Chelsea Football Club Limited which means that (unusually) Mr Mourinho does not control use of his own name and signature for advertising purposes. The registrations are in several different classes and territories.
The net effect is that negotiations for Mr Mourinho’s move to MU are more protracted (and probably costly!) than would otherwise have been the case. A licence or assignment of the rights may be needed between Chelsea and Manchester United and it is likely that significant payments will need to be made for use of the Marks by Mr Mourinho and his new club.
Care should be taken to protect IP rights, including being aware of what those rights are and how they can be protected. The worst thing would be to score an own goal by not being alive to what rights exist until it is too late and you have permitted them to be registered by someone else.
For guidance on trade mark registration how best to protect your intellectual property against unfair competition and passing off contact Tony Catterall, Head of the Intellectual Property Team at Taylors, on 01254 297900 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Taylors is the only North West based firm to have been appointed as a legal affiliate to the National organisation Anti Copying In Design (“ACID”).