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FIFA v Ferrero - Waiting for the Final Whistle

Written by Jody Tsigarides on 13 November 2009

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It has been reported that the trade mark dispute between the world football body 'FIFA' and sweet maker Ferrero may have reached a conclusion.

FIFA took cancelation action against various trade marks owned by Ferrero in relation to sweets which incorporate the term 'WM'. This term is an abbreviation for the German version of the word 'World Cup'.

FIFA argued that the registration of the term infringed its rights under German Competition Law.

The lower courts in Germany all ruled in Ferrero's favour and stated that the cancellation could not be based on trade mark law or unfair competition law.

It was held that the trade marks owned by Ferrero would not confuse the consumer into thinking that it was an official sponsor.

The decision will certainly an anticipated one with other companies perhaps seeking to exploit the World Cup name looking on with interest.

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