Let's hope the organizers of this summer's World Cup do better at putting on the tournament than they've fared in court. Last week, they lost a case in which their ban on the resale of tickets was overturned (so take that, Bob Geldof), and now they've lost a bid to trademark "Fussball WM 2006" in Germany, which translates as "Football World Cup 2006". The sport's governing body, FIFA, wanted to the trademark so only its official sponsors could use the phrase, but that's now impossible, at least in Germany. Large events like the Olympics always seem to horse-trade with governments, dangling the promise of huge economic benefits in front of them, then demand ridiculous levels of "protection" for their trademarks and sponsors -- protection they don't deserve, any more than any other entity. So it's nice to see some of the more ridiculous claims get smacked down by the courts.
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