The importance of trade mark protection for global sporting events

Christian Finn

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Big sporting events like the Olympics, the World Cup and the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow this week are watched by huge numbers of people around the world, making them ideal platforms for brand exposure and marketing.

However, with such a large audience comes an increased risk of trade mark infringement, counterfeiting, and other forms of brand abuse. This makes trade mark protection crucial for companies that want to advertise their products or services during these events.

Understanding trade mark protection

Trade mark protection is the legal mechanism used to protect a company’s brand identity. A registered trade mark provides exclusive rights for using a particular symbol, logo, or phrase to represent a particular company’s products or services. It gives registered trade mark owners legal protection against infringement, meaning that competitors are prohibited from using identical or similar trade marks in a way that could cause confusion in the marketplace.

Understanding trade mark protection can help prevent unauthorised use of a company’s brand during global sporting events.

Potential risks during sporting events

Global sporting events attract a lot of attention. Both legitimate companies and counterfeiters may seek to capitalise on this attention by producing and distributing knockoff merchandise sporting team logos or event names without proper authorisation. When this happens, it can lead to severe financial losses and damage to a company’s reputation. By enforcing trade mark protection, companies can prevent unauthorised use of their brand identity and guard against counterfeiting and other forms of brand abuse.

Benefits of trade mark protection

Trade mark protection has several benefits for companies that advertise during sporting events. A registered trade mark gives owners the rights to use the trade mark symbol, discouraging others from using similar or confusingly similar marks. It gives owners the right to sue those who violate their trade mark rights, providing a legal remedy for trade mark infringement. Most importantly, it gives companies the ability to safeguard their brand identity from being diluted or negatively impacted by competitors.

Implementing a trade mark protection strategy

Implementing a trade mark protection strategy when planning a marketing campaign for big sporting events is essential.

Contacting an expert trade mark attorney is the best way to begin. They will assist in searching for infringements, including both online and in-person searches. Once they’ve identified an infringement, they will send a cease-and-desist letter to the offending party. If the infringement persists, you may need to file a lawsuit to prevent further use of your trade mark.


Trade marks are an essential tool for companies that want to protect their brand identity and value, especially those exposed to large audiences during sporting events. The increase in counterfeits and trade mark infringements means it’s now imperative for companies to protect their brand adequately.

It is crucial to work with an experienced attorney to implement a trade mark protection strategy and enforce any violations of your trade mark rights. By doing so, companies can enjoy the benefits of a strong brand identity and protect themselves from the potential risks associated with big sporting events.

Murgitroyd is proud to have assisted in the international trade mark filing and prosecution of the Bicycle logo of the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow from 3-13 August 2023.

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