Registration of your own name as a trade mark is potentially a very valuable asset, but traditionally has been very difficult to achieve. Celebrities are a common target for entities looking to associate themselves with and piggyback on the goodwill of a famous name. A celebrity may be able to protect their rights and restrict unauthorised use of their name using the tort of passing off; however, the elements of the tort are often difficult to prove. In contrast, a registered trade mark is an asset which its owner may enforce against unauthorised users in a comparatively quick and easy manner. Whilst enforcement of a trade mark may be relatively straight-forward, the registration of a trade mark can prove more complex. This article will investigate how the stars of the 2018 World Cup can capitalise on their (potentially new-found) fame and how Lionel Messi has led the way off the pitch as well as on it.
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