Feeling it’s time to kick a bit of world cup fever into your Shop? Great idea, but there are some things to watch out for, and not every design can be accepted. With many brands and logos legally protected, it’s important not to stray offside.
Explaining Patent Protected
Patent protected products are more than just a tongue twister. They crop up when brand owners – such as companies, sponsors and also associations – have logos, brand names and entire design concepts protected against imitation. That’s why they should be approached with great caution.
If something is patent protected, then the commercial property owners have the right to decide who is allowed to use whatever it is they have legally protected. Think of it like cake, not everyone is willing to share.
We are well aware that a lot of sweat and tears goes into your ideas and designs. And you deserve to be rewarded for this. Yet it is important to note that the creative departments of companies and organisations tend to think the same of their work. That’s why designs cannot be copied without consent. A lot of money can be at stake, and taken away from rights holders, when it comes to plagiarism.
Speaking of lots of money, it can get expensive if you start offering protected designs in your Shop or start working them into your designs. Even private individuals are not safe from warnings, high administrative fines or, in the most extreme cases, even prison sentences of up to 3 years.
It’s no secret, there is a lot of investment involved in large-scale sporting events and the world cup is simply proof of this. Lots of investment, means lots of trademark protection, and any foul play can get expensive.
Avoiding a Trademark Red Card
There are countless logos and designs which legally cannot have a place in your squad. Here are a few:
Please note, this list is merely an example. Do not edit any official pictures in your designs.
If you’re unsure whether a design is protected, then have a look at the German Patent and Trademark Office. Their comprehensive data bank has pretty much all you need to know about rights holders in Germany.
A brand can of course be protected in another county as well. That’s where the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUPIO) can come in handy, or the trademark offices in other countries. Some are even globally protected, and you can find out more about them at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).
Making a Statement for the Tournament
There is no hiding the fact that international football has been the subject of widespread criticism for a while now. Working and living conditions in host countries are often abysmal and environmental concerns neglected.
Has the World Cup made you feverish for another reason? Would you like to spread a message about making football more inclusive and less destructive? Then feel free to fill your Shop with designs that educate and protest instead.
Are you going to follow the tournament? Or are you more of a baller yourself than an armchair fan? Let us know in the comments.
Wishing you lots of creating inspiration the next time you’re staring at a clean sheet.