It was revealed that football giants, Manchester United, is taking legal action against Sports Interactive, the developers of the hit game, Football Manager. They are also taking the game’s publisher Sega to court over claims of trademark infringement.
According to a report by The Guardian newspaper, the developer is claimed to be infringing on the club by using its name in the game and not using the official logo of Manchester United Football Club. (The logo they are using is generated from a generic logo template and expressly says it is not licensed from the club).
Both Sega and Sports Interactive have refuted the lawsuit from Manchester United, stating that the club never complained about the use of its name in the Football Manager series (nor its predecessor Championship Manager) since the game was first released in 1992.
The developer went on to say that Manchester United staff had even worked with Sports Interactive in the past with the developer sharing information with the club to assist with their scouting and research.
In a statement from Sports Interactive and Sega “The claimant has acquiesced in the use by the defendants of the name of the Manchester United football team in the Football Manager game and cannot now complain of such use,” – basically, “if you had a problem with it, you should’ve said something earlier and also not asked us for help for all those years.”
Manchester United has also tried to amend the lawsuit to further include claims and allegations that software in the game that allows player-made modifications which means that Sports Interactive and Sega are further benefiting from the club’s trademarks.
Not sure if the Manchester United has much chance of winning this one, but what do you think – do they have a reasonable claim?