The IPKat is puzzled by a story on southafrica.info. It reports that the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) is objecting to the registration of FIFA 2010 as a trade mark as unconstitutional. South Africa is the venue of the 2010 World Cup, and the members of Sanef appear to be afraid that the registration will prevent them from being able to report on the event. They point out that media exposure is vital to the success of the tournament, saying:
"In other words the media claims that it has provided, and continues to provide, a major boost to the commercial value FIFA derives from its trademarks and therefore no attempt should be made to penalise it."Consequently, Sanef is seeking a blanket exemption from liability for the media.
The IPKat is rather confused. Generally descriptive use is not caught by trade mark infringement, and even if it is, descriptive uses are usually covered by a defence. Has South Africa really gone so far as to impose an absolute ban on the use of names associated with the 2010 World Cup? Perhaps a South African reader can enlighten him.
(For the avoidance of emails from offended readers W**** C** is meant to mean World Cup, and nothing more sinister) .