Feeds

Chinese man trademarks Zidane headbutt

Mark up for grabs for $125,000

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.