Can I Legally Print and sell? Football Related

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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eMzyme
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Can I Legally Print and sell? Football Related

Post by eMzyme »

Hi all,

Looking for some advice and what can I legally print and sell. I've been getting so confused and seem to be going around in circles. I understand I cant use logos etc. But would the following be ok?

Example 1. let's say I wanted to put "Kane 9" on a T-shirt, no logos, just the text. Assuming the name and number haven't been trademarked, would this be legally okay?

Example 2. Just using the name Kane on a T-shirt

Example 3. As an extension of this, what if the name Kane was used in a design like in a kind of parody, satirical or humorous way does that provide any significant legal protection under UK law?

Thanks
Last edited by eMzyme on Thu Jun 06, 2024 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AndyJ
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Re: Can I Legally Print and sell? Football Related

Post by AndyJ »

Hi eMzyme and welcome to the forum,

Names are not normally subject to copyright as they are facts, as are numbers. So unless a player has registered his name as a trade mark there is unlikely to be any protection against using something like Kane 9 on a product. The one thing you need to be careful about is implying that the famous person is endorsing the product. (see this case envolving the racing driver Eddie Irvine).

That was a case about passing off, and strictly speaking there is no defence of parody under the passing off doctrine, but if it was so obviously a parody, this would undermine any claim that the public were likely to be deceived into thinking that the player was endorsing the product. Where copyright is concerned, parody is a defence (see section 30A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988).
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
eMzyme
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Re: Can I Legally Print and sell? Football Related

Post by eMzyme »

AndyJ wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 8:17 am Hi eMzyme and welcome to the forum,

Names are not normally subject to copyright as they are facts, as are numbers. So unless a player has registered his name as a trade mark there is unlikely to be any protection against using something like Kane 9 on a product. The one thing you need to be careful about is implying that the famous person is endorsing the product. (see this case envolving the racing driver Eddie Irvine).

That was a case about passing off, and strictly speaking there is no defence of parody under the passing off doctrine, but if it was so obviously a parody, this would undermine any claim that the public were likely to be deceived into thinking that the player was endorsing the product. Where copyright is concerned, parody is a defence (see section 30A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988).
Hi Andy, Thanks for that. Makes sense. Another quick question for you. I sometimes see clothing with a recognisable outline of a person on it. I'll use Harry Kane as an example again. The outline is clearly an illustration of Harry Kane but his facial features have been removed. Do they do this to avoid infringing on the image rights of that celebrity? Not something I plan on doing, just curious!
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AndyJ
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Re: Can I Legally Print and sell? Football Related

Post by AndyJ »

Under UK law, image rights per se are not protected. Provided that an image of a person does not infringe their right to respect for their private and family life (which is a Human Rights Act issue), then generally someone's likeness is not protectable. Obviously in the case of the Eddie Irvine vs Talksport, it was Irvine's image which was at the heart of the claim, so you would need to avoid implying that. through the recognisable silhouette, the person portrayed was advertising or endorsing your product. There is a famous case in the USA in which the silhouette of Michael Jordan, as used by Nike, was protectable, but in that case the logo was registered as a trade mark.
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eMzyme
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Re: Can I Legally Print and sell? Football Related

Post by eMzyme »

Thanks Andy. Very interesting!
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