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Monday, 1 April 2013

Fashion and Football -- Hands Off My Style!

From IPKat's friend Adrian Kleinheyer comes news of a German story involving everything one could ever wish for: fashion, football and image rights. Here's Adrian's intriguing tale:


When speaking of both fashion and football, Germany has not always been invariably associated with style and elegance. However, when considering the latest developments, it is apparent that these deficiencies could be remedied by one person only: Joachim Löw, the German national coach.

Spot the differences: 
Shin Tae-Yong (L) and Joachim Löw (R) 
(source: BILD.de)
To play attractive and successful football, Joachim - or “Jogi”, as the Germans call him - Löw recently decided to imitate Spain’s style of play. Germany promptly won 4-1 against Kazakhstan, and the Spanish national team did not claim any infringement or unfair competition (unlike a team of the German Bundesliga in a similar case). So far so good, but only the World Cup 2014 in Brazil will tell if Jogi Löw has really found the solution to German football dilemmas.

As to the German’s moderate fashion reputation, Jogi Löw himself is the solution.  

He usually wears grey suit trousers combined with a slim-fitted white shirt (with sleeves rolled up and the top two buttons of the shirt open) plus a watch and a bracelet around his wrists. The haircut: classic, but casual [1960s-style, suggests Merpel].  

Apparently Shin Tae-Yong, coach of Seongnam Ilhwa Chun (a South Korean football club) approves of Jogi’s look. German media became aware of him when the Hamburger SV played against Seongnam in the “Peace-Cup” final in 2012. A side-by-side comparison of the two coaches says it all.

But there might be other “fans” of Jogi Löw in the Far East. 

As the German online-news BILD.de most recently reported, a German tourist spotted a menswear shop called “JOACH LÖW” in Guangzhou, China, basically offering what the two gentlemen in the picture above are used to wear. This is apparently happening without Joachim Löw’s authorisation.

According to BILD.de, the tourist commented on what he saw as follows: “If something like international trade mark protection applied here, this shop would have to find a new name urgently.”

China became party to the Madrid Agreement in 1989, and to the Madrid Protocol in 1995, so there is such a thing as international trade mark protection in this country. 

Yet, according to online registers, there is neither an international registered
Mario Balotelli's signature pose,
a well-known mark since EURO 2012
nor a Chinese trade mark “Joach(im) Löw”, although there is a
 German word mark “Joachim Löw” registered - among other things - for products in Nice Class 25 - clothing and footwear.

But what about personality rights? 

Could Joachim Löw claim infringement of the rights to his name and/or exploitation of his reputation in China? Or does he need to win a World Cup first? 

In the meantime, it is astonishing to see how many goods and services the German mark "Joachim Löw" is registered for (twenty-two Nice classes in total). Does he have some plans in reserve? Nice class 3, for instance: A perfume? (He wouldn’t be the first celebrity.) Or rather Joachim Löw sports equipment? Or a Christmas decoration designed by Joachim Löw? (Both Nice class 28, by the way -- can anyone explain?)

In any case, the grace period for Joachim Löw (the trade mark) runs out just a few weeks before the World Cup 2014 kick-off in Sao Paolo. But Joachim Löw (the coach) may probably be more worried about his grace period, due to end with all likelihood when Germany gets defeated again by Italy or Spain…

More about Spain’s style of playing football, a.k.a. “Tiki-taka” here
More about copyright in sports performances here
Another case of style copying here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still can't work out whether this is an April Fool's prank. If it is, it is one of the best I've ever seen.

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