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Video Game Developers-Sega And SI Sued by Manchester United for Trademark Infringement

By Manthan Pandit      14 July, 2020 01:49 PM      0 Comments
Video Game Developers-Sega And SI Sued by Manchester United for Trademark Infringement

In a recent news, Manchester United sued the publisher and producer of football games, Sega Publishing and Sports Interactive (SI) over a trademark infringement case.

‘Football Manager’, a decades-old game of best-loved fantasy football, started its operations in 1992. At the time, it was called 'Championship Boss,' but after a new tie-up with Sega in 2003, the game lost its previous name. Every year since 2004, more than 15 games have been released by the publishers, adding to the football gaming simulation series.

In the recent dispute, United was aggrieved by the usage of its trademark features “extensively throughout the game.”. The club further claimed that Sega and SI not only used the name unlawfully but also infringed the trademark logo by simply “replacing the team crest with a simpler red and white striped logo.”

The complaint stated, this action “deprives the registered proprietor of its right to have the club crest licensed.”

On the other hand, the game-developing company replied by claiming that using the trade name is, "a fair reference in a football sense to the Manchester United Football Team" and the same has been used in the game since its beginning, but the club has not previously raised any concern. Moreover, by bringing forth such a complaint the club is “preventing legitimate competition in the video games field by preventing parties not licensed by the claimant from using the name of the Manchester United football team within such games.”

The hearing in the matter took place on Friday, 10th July 2020.After listening to submissions by both parties, Justice Morgan directed United to amend its claim to a later date and that till then the judgment stands reserved.

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