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FIFA, Ferrero in Row Over Brand Protection

September 22, 2005

The legal row between FIFA and German candy producer, Ferrero over marketing rights during the soccer World Cup in 2006 has now moved to Germany's federal administrative court. The dispute first arose when FIFA -- in a first in World Cup history -- filed for brand protection for the terms "World Cup 2006" and "Football World Cup 2006" and furnished an entire list of products which advertisers couldn't use without FIFA's permission. Ferrero, which is headquartered in Frankfurt and which has been providing small cards of soccer players with its candy -- a popular souvenir among socccer fans -- during soccer World Cups and European Championships since 1982, protested against the rigid conditions and scored a partial victory at the Federal Patents Office in Munich. The judges there decided that brand protection didn't apply to a part of the FIFA list. That includes products such as cards and pictures of players and stickers.