INTERVIEW: Leading IP lawyer comments on Mourinho image rights
COMMENT FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Mishcon de Reya leading IP lawyer Lewis Cohen says:
"This is a highly unusual arrangement. We advise all rights owners to ensure they own their IP and do not let their licensees – in this case Chelsea - register it. It is difficult to understand why Mourinho and his advisors would let Chelsea own trade mark registrations covering Mourinho's name and signature. It appears that there must have been some agreement between Mourinho and Chelsea permitting these registrations; after all, he went back to Chelsea - presumably knowing they owned these trade mark registrations – but did not insist they hand them over to him.
"If Mourinho had an image rights arrangement whilst managing Chelsea, which we would expect to be the case, it would mean that Chelsea paid a portion of his remuneration for use of Mourinho's image. However, Chelsea owns Mourinho trade marks, which is usually a large part of the image rights bundles, and so this should have significantly deflated the sum Chelsea paid for using his image. It would be interesting to know if this was the case and to take a closer look at the arrangements.
"There is also a question over the arrangement between Chelsea and Mourinho's sponsors - do the sponsors pay Chelsea a licence fee when they use Mourinho's name and/or signature? We would also expect there to be some kind of licence arrangement between Mourinho and Chelsea under which Mourinho has the ability to sub-licence the use of the Mourinho trade marks and to restrict how Chelsea use them."
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