Starballs: UEFA Champions League in Logo Copyright Dispute
The Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) has upheld a complaint from the UEFA in the plagiarism dispute concerning the famous symbol of the Champions League - a soccer ball composed of stars.
The current logo has been in use since 1992. Recently Rospatent has received a request for trademark registration of a Russian logo that was expected to appear on goods, like hair lotions, cosmetic products, perfume, toothcare, and various products used for cleansing, polishing, and degreasing.
The well-known UEFA logo is a rotating starball consisting of stars connected by their pinnacles. A disputed trademark of a Russian brand also represented a starball consisting of stars of a bigger size, also connected by pinnacles. The logo used navy blue, sky blue, azure, and white colours. Although the brand name UEFA did not feature in the Russian logo, the inscription below the starball reads Champion Cup.
The UEFA filed a copyright protection suit on the grounds of plagiarism and brand misuse, claiming that the goods labeled with Champion Cup logo would lead to customers assuming that they were buying goods produced or otherwise licensed by the UEFA Champions League. The UEFA also underlined the breach of intellectual property rights that belong to the designer team behind the UEFA starball.
The suit was decided in favour of the UEFA. Any further protection of the Russian copycat logo has been withdrawn.