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Puma Backs Down on Aggressive Challenge to Olympic Trademarks

If there was ever any doubt, the trademark for “Tokyo 2020” belongs to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). So does “Beijing 2022” and “Paris 2024.” German sportswear giant Puma conceded as much when it withdrew four actions it filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to void the USOPC’s registrations.

In this Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article written by Loeb & Loeb Advanced Media & Technology partners Doug Masters and Seth Rose, the authors discuss Puma’s unusually aggressive approach in attempting to use the upcoming Olympic location and year combinations for its own purposes when it recently asked the TTAB to invalidate the USOPC’s trademark registrations. Although Puma – which is not currently an Olympic sponsor – ultimately dropped its legal challenges to the USOPC’s trademarks, the authors argue that the company’s attempts to expand its branding rights brings new attention to the lower-key concept of ambush marketing.