The IOC, Lord of the Rings

Next year, the Olympic Games are held in London. The Olympic Games are one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Obviously some companies are trying to free ride on this event (we recall our post on the Bavariababes last week as a nice example of free riding). As the FIFA, the IOC keeps everyone on a distance, use of the Olympic logos is strictly reserved to the official sponsors (who have paid of course millions for this use).

Probably, one or two of your clients or yourself want to know the possibilities of using the logo after all. Is every use forbidden? In these cases or just out curiosity, check the special FAQ for using the Olympic logo, http://www.london2012.com/about-us/our-brand/frequently-asked-questions.php.

For everyone who thinks to get away with it, the IOC is the Lord of the Rings and will act vigorously against every use, even if it is a parody. The IOC has even registered the Olympic rings for all products and services (45 classes), which makes it easier to object the use of the logo for let’s say sunscreen or lighters. Recently the London department of the IOC even objected the trademark GREAT EXHIBITION 2012 (!).

We met the IOC already on an occasion. The logo of a client happened to have five balls, three above and two below. IOC was not amused at all even though the technical products had no relationship to the Olympics. The case was settled when the number of balls changed into two balls above and three below.

Arnaud Bos

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