A fuss in America. Media recently picked up a flyer of a sex party using pictures of famous American football players mentioning “hosted by” with their names.
The controversy mainly focuses on the use of their names and pictures. The possible presence of the players on these events is something that is not very unusual.
The players in question have rushed to say that they have nothing to do with this party, that they were not present and that no approval was given for the use of their name. Normally you would have believed such a statement, however, one of these players has announced his visit to this party in a tweet.
The NFL (the National Football Association) is now investigating whether or not there there is an infringement of their trademarks. In a brief response the spokesman says that they have dozen of similar infringement cases a year.
Taking advantage of and free riding on the reputation of famous people and events is something that occurs quite often. Well-known people and events are of course appealing and give your trademark a boost. As huge sums of money are paid for approval some smaller companies are just taking their chance. And in the event that there is a counteract, the purpose of the flyer is largely met: a lot of publicity.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”