The Olympics, Paralympics and London Olympics Association Rights (Infringement Proceedings) Regulations 2010/2477 set out the remedial orders that a court can make, with effect from 8 November 2010, in relation to goods, materials or articles that infringe the London Olympics association right (LOAR).
The Olympic Symbol, etc., (Protection) Act 1995, as amended, confers exclusive rights on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the British Olympic Association in respect of specific Olympicrelated properties, such as the Olympics rings symbol, the Olympic motto and certain protected words. Any of these can be infringed by the use, in the course of trade, of a representation of any of those properties. They can also be infringed by a representation so similar as to be likely to create an association in the mind of the public. Association in this context includes any kind of contractual, commercial, corporate or structural connection.
The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006, amongst other things, created LOAR, conferring on LOCOG the exclusive right to use representations that create an association between the London Olympics and goods or services. LOAR is not, however, confined to specific elements of the Olympic brand, but applies to the London Olympics as a whole. In assessing infringement, the court may consider whether the advertiser has used certain expressions such as “games”, “2012” or “Twenty Twelve”, either in combination with each other or with any word of words from a second category of expressions, including “gold”, “medals”, “London” and “summer”. There may still be infringement, however, if none of these expressions is included. LOCOG, as the proprietor of LOAR, has the right to take enforcement action against individuals or organisations that infringe the right, including by issuing court proceedings.
The new Regulations specify the remedial orders that the court can make in relation to goods, materials or articles that infringe LOAR. Regulation 2 provides that the court may order the erasure of an offending representation from any offending goods, material or articles or the destruction of the infringing goods, material or articles in question. Under Regulation 3, LOCOG may apply to the court for an order that any infringing goods, materials or articles be delivered up to it (or such other person as the court directs). Additionally, under Regulation 4, LOCOG may apply for an order that any items delivered up under Regulation 3 may be destroyed or forfeited. It also confers a power to make rules of court to provide for the notification of any persons who might have an interest in any such items.