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US Olympic Committee Sues Organization Trying To Build Sports Museum

from the the-spirit-of-competition dept

The Olympics are notoriously protective of the Olympic name, even trying to block the trademark application for the Olympian, a newspaper in Olympia, Washington. Paul writes in to let us know that the US Olympic Committee has now decided it’s worth suing what appears to be an almost defunct non-profit organization called The International Institute for Sport and Olympic History. Apparently the organization was set up to try to raise funds for a museum dedicated to sports, but from the article, it sounds like it has failed to get very far, and has been (perhaps) left to die already (at one point, it was reported that the Institute’s bank account contained $52). But never one to let a dead organization die peacefully, the USOC has sued and is seeking “treble damages.” What damages? This is basically a defunct organization that never did anything. The USOC says, at the very least, it deserves three times the profits the organization made off the Olympic name. Well, three times zero is zero… so seems like this one could be settled pretty quickly.

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Companies: usoc

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Comments on “US Olympic Committee Sues Organization Trying To Build Sports Museum”

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15 Comments
Mike C. (profile) says:

Losing their appeal quickly...

Between overly aggressive trademark enforcement, rampant commercialization and lopsided competitions, I’m starting to realize why I haven’t been interested in the Olympics for the last 10-15 years.

I think I’ll just go read a book or two instead this time around. Heck, I’ll probably get more value out of it anyway… ๐Ÿ™‚

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Treble? Really? That is generous.

The part that strikes me is “at the very least, it deserves three times the profits the organization made off the Olympic name.”

So, if the organization lost $50,000, that would be -50000. So by my calculations using the committee’s own suggestion, the organization deserves to be paid $150,000 by the Olympic committee. That should move the museum along nicely.

transmaster (profile) says:

Your elected officials at work

You can thank our elected officials in Washington DC for this mess. They passed a law giving the United States Olympic Committee exclusive right to the “Olympic” name. Never mind if you where a business,or anything else that might have been might have been using the word Olympic from shortly after the original Greek games ended you would suddenly get a nasty scumbag-a-lawyer gram telling you to stop using the word Olympic. They even tried to sue people using the name Olympia. only to find out Olympia Beer’s lawyers where even better back stabbers then those of the Olympic committee.

A similar thing happened in the state of Kentucky. Always looking for more tax revenue to power their local pork projects the Kentucky state legislator passed a law putting a tax on any business who used the word Kentucky in their name. Ever wonder why Kentucky Fried Chicken changed their name to KFC, or the Kentucky Derby is no longer known by that name it is because of this tax.

sysadmn (profile) says:

May be clever, not stupid

USOC might be more clever than stupid. If they sue an organization that can’t afford to defend itself, they get a slam-dunk win. No, they won’t be able to collect anything, but they’ve established a legal precedent. That precedent could not only expand their “protection” of the Olympic marks, but also their “right” to treble damages. The next organization they rattle sabers at has an uphill battle.

Sirpa Aggarwal (profile) says:

Very distasteful and bizarre action by USOC. Considering the non-profit’s financial status – and I’m assuming USOC’s legal team did their due diligence before suing the company – this lawsuit couldn’t have possibly ever been for any financial gain. I therefore interpret it as a pre-emptive strike and a warning against any and all companies out there entertaining any thoughts of using the word “olympic” as part of their business.

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