FIFA’s approach to brand protection focuses on education and guidance, rather than enforcement by means of legal threats and sanctions. FIFA prefers direct personal contact to bring infringing situations to an end by speaking to the business in question, explaining why the specific situation is problematic and seeking cooperation in solving the issue.
In more serious cases, where there is a clear intention to take a free ride on the goodwill vested in the event and the public excitement surrounding it, FIFA may need to engage in court proceedings to halt an infringing situation and to claim financial compensation for the damages suffered. However, FIFA will not resort to such legal action without an in-depth analysis of the intention, scale and commercial impact of the matter at hand.
As the organiser of the event, FIFA holds all commercial rights to the FIFA World Cup™, its greatest commercial asset. However, FIFA recognises that football is a worldwide passion and of course FIFA is not opposed to businesses benefiting from the thriving economy surrounding the FIFA World Cup ™ by using generic references to football. FIFA even encourages shop owners to join in with the celebration by decorating their shop windows and facades with generic football terms and objects. FIFA actively encourages anyone that wants to take advantage of legitimate business opportunities created by the FIFA World Cup™. FIFA asks that any commercial activities aimed at capitalising on the large numbers of spectators are fair with regard to FIFA and its Commercial Affiliates.