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SBD Global/June 19, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tottenham Striker Gareth Bale's Trademark Application A Move To Define, Protect Brand

Tottenham player Gareth Bale applying to trademark his heart-shaped goal celebration  is "a bit silly isn't it?," according to Matt Himsworth of ESPN's FC United blog. Well, "not really, no." It is important "to say what he's not doing first." He is "not stopping anyone from forming a heart-shape with their hands to celebrate something." What he is doing "is preparing the grounds for a marketing and merchandising push." He is creating a mark, like the Nike swoosh or the adidas three-stripe, which he hopes will become internationally recognizable and saleable "and that can appear on clothing and sports gear across the globe." It is "a simple step as part of the development of brand Bale." What he is doing, by applying for a trademark, "is making it easier to define and protect his brand." In this country, "to succeed in a passing off claim, there are more hoops to jump through." You must prove that the mark is yours, "that you have a reputation behind that mark and that you have suffered harm as a result of misuse of your mark." If you have already obtained a registered trademark, then all you have to do is "wave your certificate around." Any self-respecting company which relies on its brand will trademark its logo, "why should well-known individuals not do so?" (ESPN, 6/17).
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