Every four years, people around the globe gather in front of their televisions to watch the World Cup. National pride swells, and old rivalries are renewed (with the aggression hopefully limited to the pitch). Countries like England, Italy, and Mexico take a pause from being world leaders and become the Three Lions, Gli Azzurri, and El Tri (respectively) for four weeks. Fans relive memories of head-butts and Hand(s) of God, and tell tales of bygone heroes with names like Pele, Eusebio, Beckenbauer, and Cruyff. It wouldn’t come as any surprise to find that fans around the world might be posting pictures of flags or even the World Cup logo to social media in their fervor. But fans doing so may soon find themselves in the crosshairs of soccer’s governing body, and dealing with the repercussions of trademark infringement.
FIFA has asked Twitter to send takedown notices to over 100 users who have used the logo of the 2014 World Cup as their profile’s avatar image. Twitter policy states that in instances when there is a “clear intent to mislead others through the unauthorized use of a trademark,” they will suspend the account and notify the user. However, in instances where Twitter determines that the user account “appears to be confusing users, but is not purposefully passing itself off as the trademarked good or service,” Twitter will allow the user the chance to clear up any potential confusion. While it seems likely these offenders are simply enthusiastic fans, FIFA has proven itself zealous in defending its brand, even in its commercial partnerships.Read More