|In France, a court has dismissed claims brought against three online sportsbetting operators by Paris Saint German (PSG) Football Club for trademark infringement and commercial exploitation.|
The Paris Tribunal of First Instance rejected the team’s claim that Austria's Bwin, Sweden's Unibet and the UK’s Sportingbet exploited its trademark for their own commercial gain, drawing into question an earlier verdict handed down in favour of the organiser of the French Open tennis tournament, the French Tennis Federation.
“This decision confirms that online sportsbetting companies are not violating the rights of Paris Saint Germain,” said Sigrid Ligne, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association.
“Sportsbetting is a risk management business that requires specific skills and expertise. It is a complementary activity that goes hand-in-hand with the activities of sports’ clubs and sports’ events organisers.”
The judge stated that the online operators websites were not in commercial competition with PSG as ‘they organise bets on sports events that are likely to attract consumers betting on football as well as other sports’. The ruling said that ‘it is impossible to announce events or advertise bets involving the Paris Saint Germain Football Club by paraphrasing and without mentioning the name of the club’.
The court found that there could be no confusion as to the origin of the service offered by the gaming operators since the websites in question contain highly visible displays of their own marks, advertise a multitude of bets in a variety of activities other than football and announce all matches in the same way, no matter who is playing.