FIFA runs a global licensing programme which gives a wide range of licensees the opportunity to produce Official Licensed Products for the FIFA World Cup™. However, there are also companies that seek to produce items featuring FIFA’s Official Marks without purchasing the required licence. Such products are defined as counterfeit products. One way of recognising counterfeit products is that often they do not bear the correct authentication features that official products do (such as hang tags, official sew-in labels, correct use of trademarks, legal notice, etc.).
In FIFA’s case, counterfeit products can range from footballs to caps, from clothing to toys, and from footwear to miscellaneous items such as pins, keychains, World Cup Trophy replicas and other items that feature FIFA trademarks.
For the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, FIFA is working together with Brazilian authorities including the police, customs and host cities of the FIFA World Cup™ to be able to use existing structures and know-how in the joint battle against counterfeit products. Once FIFA is informed of the production, importation or sale of products that bear unauthorised reproductions of FIFA’s Official Marks, FIFA is obliged to take corresponding action, including any legal measures at its disposal, to bring the activity to a halt.
It is worth pointing out that Official Licensed Products bear a quality guarantee in relation to standards of product quality, ethical business practices and working conditions, which ensure that practices such as child labour are excluded. Such guarantees also apply with regard to the materials that have been used to fabricate that specific product in comparison to counterfeit products that may pose serious health risks in the light of the absence of any such quality guarantee.