Feeds

Chinese man trademarks Zidane headbutt

Mark up for grabs for $125,000

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A Chinese entrepreneur has registered an image of French captain Zinedine Zidane headbutting Italian defender Marco Materazzi in last month's World Cup final as a trademark for clothing, shoes, hats and beer products, according to reports.

Zhao Xiaokai hopes to sell the mark for US$125,000, reports Chinese news site Xinhua Online. The image is a silhouette, apparently in an attempt to avoid infringing Zidane's image rights.

Zidane has fought to protect his image rights before. Last year he and four other soccer stars – David Beckham, Luis Figo, Raul and Ronaldo – joined their club, Real Madrid, in filing infringement suits against seven online bookies that allegedly used their names and images in online marketing material without consent.

It is possible that Zidane and Materazzi will argue that Zhao has no rights to trademark the head-butt image, even as a silhouette, given they arguably are still recognisable.

In the UK, the law of passing off can sometimes be used to prevent a celebrity's image being used overtly to promote a commercial product. The closest the UK courts have come to recognising a "celebrity right" was racing driver Eddie Irvine's success against talkSPORT in the High Court in March 2002, although the decision was consistent with existing principles. It simply recognised the commercial value of personal endorsements.

In Irvine's case, a promotional brochure was sent to less than 1,000 people advertising radio station Talk Radio, with a photo that had been doctored to show Irvine holding a radio bearing a Talk Radio logo, instead of a mobile phone, which he was holding in the original photo.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.