For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 6 October 2003

FORMER ATHLETE TO SUE OVER USE OF SOCKS AND FACE FURNITURE

The Sunday Telegraph has reported that British company The Number, which provides directory enquiry services for telephone users, is being threatened with legal action by former athletics star David Bedford. The Number has been promoting its services which are accessed through the 118 118 phone number; its advertisements feature two joggers with droopy moustaches who wear 1970s sports gear and red socks. David Bedford, who broke the 10,000 metres world record in 1973, claims that the characters are based on him and seeks compensation of up to £200,000 for trading on his image without payment. The Number denies using Bedford’s image, claiming that its characters were based on the American runner Steve Prefontaine, who died in a car crash in 1975. Couchman Harrington Associates are acting for Bedford. The case is expected to get to court before the end of the year. There may be further litigation if Prefontaine’s estate gets in on the act.

The IPKat recalls that the 1970s were a long time ago and that they are a foreign country to a large number of consumers (in particular telephone users) today. How many people would still recall David Bedford’s appearance and red socks? And how much recall would David Bedford need to prove in order to show he still had identifiable goodwill in his appearance? The IPKat is also curious as to whether the fact that The Number uses two alleged Bedford look-alikes instead of just one would lead to double the damages.

Runners that The Number can exploit without being sued here and here
Get yourself a moustache and retro sportswear
More on red socks here and here


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