Several readers of the Daily Telegraph (17 September 2012) thought it must be April Fool’s Day when they read about the trade mark on the words, MAN OF THE MATCH .
“I know I dropped off during Downton Abbey but it seems I have slept right through to April 1st!” said one.
However this isn’t a practical joke. The phrase has actually been trademarked since 2002 but now the owner is selling and the trade mark, according to the paper, is expected to reach six figures.
What’s important with a trade mark is the goods and services for which the trade mark has been registered (the company has both EU and UK trade marks).
Looking at the Intellectual Property Office site, it’s possible to see that this trade mark is covered under the following classes, 09, 16, 18, 25, 38 and 41:
Class 09: CDs, mouse mats, mobile phone accessories.
Class 16: Magazines.
Class 18: Rucksacks.
Class 25: Clothing, hats.
Class 28: Games.
Class 38: Broadcast of television and radio programmes.
Class 41: Sporting events and exhibitions.
This means they can’t stop people using MAN OF THE MATCH as an award after a football match, but they can stop others making a TV programme called MAN OF THE MATCH or using that as a brand on clothing.
Yesterday’s article also mentioned the KEEP CALM & CARRY ON trade mark registration which Trade Mark Direct is still working hard to cancel. This trade mark gives the owner, Mr Mark Coop, trade mark rights in all EU countries over posters, clothing, household items and other merchandise.
Trade Mark Direct is, at its own cost, acting to have the trade mark cancelled on behalf of clients. These include Barter Books who first rediscovered the celebrated wartime poster and from whom Mr Coop bought his first merchandise!
We expect a successful outcome in spring 2013.