Official message board thread of the Olympic Games

Classics: Is there an official Olympic everything?

Sadly, Eastman Kodak last year announced that they would no longer be a worldwide sponsor for the Olympic games, effective after the 2008 summer games.

As a Rochesterian, the very thought of Canon or Fuji shilling their wares with the five rings attached fills me with despair.
Powers &8^]

Classics: Is there an official Olympic everything?

An update from the 2012 event. In the UK legislation has been passed and is being rigorously enforced (yes, inspectors hired for the purpose and zealously touring the countries) to protect the commercial rights of the sponsors.

There are companies who have provided goods and services at events who are forbidden to make or allow any statement that they are providing anything, and the ban extends in perpetuity.

For example a small, long established, Greek restaurant which has always been called the ******* Restaurant has been forced to hide its name from view for the duration of both the abled and disabled activities.

Another example - a railway bridge which has for years advertised the local brewery in Cardiff has been covered over because of the soccer being played in the Millennium Stadium.

Yet another - all the restroom fittings in the soccer grounds have had stickers placed to hide the manufacturers’ names because they are not official sponsors of the events.

I could perhaps have made this posting clearer, but the list of words forbidden to be used and the list of places where they may not be used is several pages long, and I don’t want to appear in court. Sorry, you will have to guess the restaurant’s name above.

Incidentally you will be pleased to learn that these games are “on budget”, now that the original £2,400,000,000 has been “corrected” to £11,000,000,000.

I wonder how true these stories are. Basically I wouldn’t believe anything that comes out of the British tabloid press and these sort of stories seem to be exactly the sort of things they would invent. Any reliable cites?

Here’s a link to the changing of the name of Olympic Gyro, which isn’t exactly the claim made above. The restaurant is pretty clearly using Olympic game iconography, since the Olympic rings were invented for the modern Olympic games (so not part of the historic Greek connection the restaurateur alludes to).

Here’s a semi-recent breakdown of the funding.

Here’s a cite for the Cardiff advertising claim.

One thing that’s noticable about all the stories from the UK - restaurants changing names*, adverts covered up, etc. - is that they are all dire warning about what **might **happen from before the games. I’ve not found any news stories - even from the Daily Mail - on these lines since the games started.

The only story I can find is the commentator who had his umbrella confiscated at Lord at the start of the archery competition. No stories of spectators having their trainers removed as they entered the stadium or houses and shops being searched for illegal adverts. Maybe the potential bad publicity led to a bit of common sense being used.

  • I see the story gamerunknown has linked to is from the States. I can’t find any equivalent from the UK although we have a similar law protecting the “Olympic” name.

Fiendish Astronaut: you asked for a citation; is the BBC good enough?

Lee Fisher, an intellectual property lawyer with Morgan Cole solicitors in Cardiff, said the aim of the regulations is to protect the income generated from official Olympic sponsors.
However, he said: "It is one of the most restrictive regimes to have been put around any event, but particularly the Olympics, in terms of the clear ban around areas where the Olympics are taking place.
“I can see the justification for it but it is causing problems for small business who are not necessarily trying to make money but trying to enter into the spirit of things.”

Or the Independent newspaper?

The Olympics legislation bans the use by unauthorised businesses (non-sponsors) of ‘controlled representations’, depending on the context. This is the list of ‘controlled representations’:
The Olympic Symbol (the five interlocking rings) The Olympic Motto (Citius Altius Fortius’ / ‘Faster Higher Stronger’
Olympic (s), Olympiad (s), Olympian (s), The Paralympic Symbol (the three ‘agitos’), The Paralympic Motto (‘Spirit in Motion’), Paralympic (s), Paralympiad (s), Paralympian (s), London, Games, Summer, Two thousand and twelve, 2012, Twenty Twelve, Medals, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Sponsors

See also

Charmbrights, Yes, the legislation is pretty over the top but the fact remains all the horror stories - including the articles you linked to - are from before the games warning of the awful things that were going to happen, not reports of searches, closures, and arrests from the last two weeks.

The case you quote - of a restaurant using Olympic its name - appears to be from the States and was under legislation passed in 1978.

The IOC are anal about the name and the logo (they always have been - this is not new to London 2012) and LOCOG fell over themselves buttering up the sponsors but in practice a bit of common sense seems to have prevailed. Honest, your not in danger of appearing in court for using the word Olympic!

Charmbrights, none of those specific incidents you mention are noteworthy at all. Yes, the Olympics are protecting their branding and their paying sponsors. They are going to come down on anyone hawking Olympic merchandise that is not official. This is just like the NFL coming down on NFL knockoffs, or any other trademark infringement issue.

Taking down hawkers of Olympic T-shirts and coffee mugs is a far cry from putting stickers over brand names on toilet manufacturers or painting over billboards or telling the local sandwich eatery they can’t actually sell food to tourists because they aren’t an official sponsor.

The US example is a case of “why did it take you so long?” but is hardly relevant. Simple trademark protection, unrelated to London 2012.

It is not even remotely conceivable that your using these words in this thread instead of redacting them would subject you to liability under this law. So, if you want to be taken seriously, just say what you’re talking about.