June 20, 2016

The news at the beginning of the month was dominated by the death of Muhammed Ali, one of the most famous sports personalities of the twentieth century. Given his fame, it is perhaps not surprising there was, and still remains, economic value in his name. From a trade mark perspective, it is interesting to see that the following are all registered as trade marks in the EU for a wide range of merchandise and services (by Muhammed Ali Enterprises LLC):

  • his full name MUHAMMAD ALI (and previous name CASSIUS CLAY);
  • his surname ALI;
  • his signature;
  • his well-known catch phrases FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE, ROPE-A-DOPE and RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE (amongst others).

As noted in our post on the JOSE MOURINHO trade mark (see here), in the absence of a formal image right in the UK/EU (see here), trade marks are a valuable way of exploiting personality rights.

Stobbs advises a range of clients, including celebrities and sporting clubs, on a full range of intellectual property strategies from trade mark registration through to brand licensing and commercial transactions. If you would like to seek advice on any of the issues raised here, please get in touch.

Trademarks /  Sport /  Celebrity /  Brand Extension (licensing)

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