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Company X is an online betting app for Football (soccer). They want to advertise on twitter or facebook for upcoming matches between certain football clubs and tell their users that they can start to place their bets for that match.

Is company X allowed to use the logos and names of these clubs for this advertisement?

  • jurisdiction?.. – gracey209 Nov 17 '15 at 13:21
  • The ads will be running in Germany only intially but if we success we will expand to the UK too. – Colin Winhall Nov 17 '15 at 14:35
  • @ColinWinhall if there is an actual company planning to do this then that company needs real legal advice, which this site cannot provide. Engage a lawyer. – phoog Nov 17 '15 at 20:55
  • I agree with @phoog. While people clearly people sometimes come on here looking for legal advice, it's not a suitable replacement for getting a lawyer. Whomever runs this company should already have engaged competent counsel. – gracey209 Nov 18 '15 at 17:13
  • Agreed. This is the course of action we have taken. – Colin Winhall Nov 18 '15 at 18:47
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Logos and (trademarked) names are under the trademark law.

First of all it may not be misconstrued that the club(s) endorses the betting site (unless they actually do but that should have some contract backing that up). Some clubs may not be content that their logo is used in an add for gambling.

On the betting page itself or in a list with matches to bet on. Then it would be nominative use. As it would be used as a way to identify the trademarked club rather than an endorsement of that club.

Safest way to go about it is to approach each club (or an organization that is allowed to sub-license these rights) and acquire a license to use the trademark for this purpose.

  • Hi ratchet freak, Thanks for your response. That makes sense. I have a followup question.. What if you make your own simplified version of each clubs logo. Is this still a trademark infringement? – Colin Winhall Nov 17 '15 at 14:33
  • @ColinWinhall if you try to sell fast food using the name "MoDcnalb's" and a similar-but-not-identical "M" logo, you can bet that McDonald's is going to come after you. Trademarks are not copyrights. The form of the trademark is less important than its ability to denote a particular company's particular product or service. – phoog Nov 17 '15 at 21:27
  • @ColinWinhall and we have another question dealing with that: law.stackexchange.com/q/3708/2701 – ratchet freak Nov 17 '15 at 21:31
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It largely depends on the jurisdiction and the way in which the logos are used. A trademark refers to a product. If X uses Y's trademark logo in such a manner that it does not imply X is selling Y's product or Y is endorsing X's product, that would be a factor for non-infringement.

  • We would merely be asking users which team they would be betting on while using a stock image with the two team logos displayed in the image. eg [team name1] vs [team name2] This ad is only going to be targetted at Germany initially. – Colin Winhall Nov 18 '15 at 14:54

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