01 May 1998

A RISIBLE attempt by world football governing body FIFA to register the words ‘world’ and ‘cup’ as trademarks at the Patent Office has been met with threats of legal action by the Institute of Sales Promotion. The trade body lodged its formal objections with the Patent Office on 25 June and, if these are rejected, will resort to law on the grounds that such registration would be a restraint of trade. Many promotions have recently exploited the footie-fest with liberal use of the two contentious words, without contributing a wooden sou to FIFA’s overflowing coffers. [Debrief believes any attempt to patent words in such universal currency as ‘world’ and ‘cup’ is doomed to failure - else such diverse brands as PC World, TWA, Batchelors Cup-a-Soup and every bra manufacturer on the face of the planet will know the reason why!]