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Juventus FC Secures Landmark Ruling Securing Trade Mark Rights For NFTs

Kirill Venediktov, https://www.soccer.ru/galery/1287369/photo/932403
Monday, 13 February 2023 By Simon Casinader, Niall Lavery

Juventus FC (affectionately nicknamed the “Old Lady”) has won a noteworthy ruling in its case of trade mark infringement brought against an NFT producer, Blockeras s.r.l (“Blockeras”). The Rome Court of First Instance ruled1 that the unauthorized minting, advertising and sale of non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”)2 can infringe the trade mark rights of the relevant owner.

Juventus FC sought a preliminary injunction from the court to prevent Blockeras from selling NFTs that made use of Juventus’ trade marks. The marks included the “Juventus” and “Juve” word marks as well as the design of the football club’s famous black and white jersey.3 Juventus filed proceedings against Blockeras accusing them of infringing the club’s registered marks in relation to the Blockeras NFTs which were linked to trading cards featuring former Juventus striker Christian “Bobo” Vieri.

NFTs have gained particular traction in sport where they can be used in relation to player cards, season tickets and on team/player social media profiles among other areas. The case is therefore a significant ruling in relation to trade mark rights and NFTs in sport but also in other industries due to its broader ramifications. It is the first known judgment by a European court to determine that NFTs which reproduce a third party’s trade marks without authorization from the rights owner amount to trade mark infringement and may warrant an injunction preventing further usage.

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Written by

Simon Casinader

Simon Casinader

Simon Casinader is a senior associate in the London office at K&L Gates and had previously worked in their Melbourne office for over seven years. Simon is an intellectual property lawyer with extensive experience in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights across multiple jurisdictions.

Niall Lavery

Niall Lavery

Niall Lavery is an associate at the London office of K&L Gates. He splits his practice into two primary areas, specifically, 1) antitrust, competition and trade regulation and 2) intellectual property and commercial law where the team’s cross-departmental approach allows him to provide a versatile and comprehensive approach to his work.

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