Sports Ticker (3rd Dec 2020) - EA sports image rights, NFL make history, Nintendo

Published on 04 December 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.

Access the full Sports Ticker here.

In our 27th edition, we consider the dispute bubbling around FIFA 21 image rights, the first all-Black officiating team taking charge of an NFL match game and a recent European Patent Office decision in favour of Nintendo. We also take a look at growing concerns about the long-term effects of heading in football and the long-awaited return of fans to stadia across large parts of England.

Zlatan and Bale question EA Sports over image rights

Following the announcement of David Beckham’s inclusion in FIFA 21 as a legend (and the associated licensing arrangement between Beckham and EA Sports), Zlatan Ibrahimović has hit out at EA Sports on Twitter for using his likeness and “making profit on his name and face” without his permission. 

NFL make history with first all-Black officiating crew

Last Ticker’s report on the first senior men’s international with an all-female team of match officials prompted some really positive feedback from readers. 

EPO’s Board of Appeal decide in favour of Nintendo

Amidst the console wars between Sony and Microsoft’s new PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, rival Nintendo has some good news to cheer about on the console development front.

Dementia and football: PFA calls for reduction in heading

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has called for an immediate reduction in the amount of heading in training amid growing concerns about possible links with dementia.

Guess who’s back, back again... (fans)

As part of new post-lockdown COVID-19 rules announced by the Culture Secretary last week, up to 4,000 fans will be allowed at outdoor events in English tier 1 locations from 2 December.  Similarly, up to 2,000 fans will be allowed in tier 2 areas, with indoor venues within tiers 1 and 2 allowing entry for up to 1,000 fans. 


Extra time... 

…and finally, Lewis Hamilton has lost a three-year trademark dispute with a Swiss luxury watchmaker. The case centred on whether or not the trademark ‘Hamilton’ was being used lawfully, with lawyers for the seven-time world champion claiming that watchmaker  ‘Hamilton International’ had appropriated the trademark in 2017 “in bad faith”. However, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled against Hamilton, observing that the name ‘Hamilton International’ originated in 1892, when the manufacturer was established in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “There is no ‘natural right’ for a person to have his or her own name registered as a trademark when that would infringe third parties’ rights”, EUIPO confirmed in its verdict. It looks like this is a rare occasion where the F1 world-beater will have to settle for second best! (See more here). 

Extra Extra time...

… and finally, finally, Bath and England prop Beno Obano has collaborated with Maro Itoje, Ellis Genge, Anthony Watson and Biyi Alo on a new Amazon Prime documentary which aims to examine the growing diversity in Rugby Union. The documentary, titled ‘Everybody’s Game’, was released last week and is seeking to challenge traditional perceptions of Rugby Union and explore what more the sport can do to open itself up to a wider demographic. “Rugby has a special place in my heart, and it’s changed the course of my life,” said Obano - “I just feel more people should have that chance.” (See more here). 

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