July 25, 2012

Law360 quotes Jonathan Pompan on stringent Olympic trademark laws

1 min

Law360 quoted Venable of counsel Jonathan Pompan in a July 24, 2012 article about the stringent laws surrounding Olympic trademarks. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has "exclusive" rights to the word "Olympic" and several other related terms according to a 1978 precedent. Companies that transgress these delicate trademark laws are quickly met with cease-and-desist letters from the USOC, and are constrained to discontinue their activity because the alternative of pursuing a legal battle against the USOC is considered a pyrrhic endeavor at best.

Pompan offered his analysis of the current Olympic trademark situation, saying, "We've got a situation where anything you can remotely think of is off-limits or at least subject to a cease-and-desist letter." He continued, "It's clear that the Olympics are not messing around" and any use of Olympic trademarks is "fraught with peril." Pompan concluded by exhorting companies to avoid legal quarrels with the USOC, and suggested, "If you don't have the money for a sponsorship, you don't have the money to fight."