#EK – Use “Man of The Match” phrase at your own risk!
Man Of The Match Catchphrase Trademark Sold
The phrase has been sold at auction, while a court battle looms over the trademark of wartime slogan “Keep Calm And Carry On”.
By Ashish Joshi, Sky News Correspondent
The intellectual property rights of the phrase “man of the match” has been sold at auction and some copyright experts think the slogan could be worth millions of pounds.
The identity of the new owner has not been made public following the sale on Thursday afternoon.
It was previously owned by OFS Group, an intellectual property firm which registered the trademark for the phrase in 2002.
Bookmakers including Ladbrokes and Paddy Power and beer firms such as Budweiser and Carlsberg have already expressed their interest in rights, which include the Man of the Match trademark and the website address motm.com.
The brokers acting on behalf of OFS Group said the sale is expected to fetch a high six-figure sum, although it could stretch into the millions amid expectations that the new owner will effectively be able to penalise companies for using the phrase without consent.
OFS has already made a return on the trademark by licensing it for use on packets of KP Peanuts and McCoy’s crisps.
“It’s a phrase that is used all the time and the buyer will have the opportunity to charge for that use,” said Metis chief executive Stephen Robertson.
“It’s not quite about suing them, the way Apple does for companies that use its name, but they will be able to make some money.”
OFS is not the first company trying to make money out of a phrase.
Last year, Surrey businessman Mark Coop was branded “greedy” after he registered the trademark to the wartime slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” and banned other companies from using it. A court battle is looming over the controversial copyrights.
In 1992, American boxing and wrestling announcer Michael Buffer took out the trademark to his own slogan, Let’s Get Ready to Rumble, and sold it to companies that produce videos and adverts. By 2009 he had made more than $400m (£246m) from the rights.
Paris Hilton has successfully trademarked “That’s Hot” and Victoria Beckham finally won her bid to copyright “POSH” after a lengthy court case against Peterborough United Football Club.
The sale does not spell the end of the use of the sporting phrase.
Youngsters can still be honoured for moments of sporting glory and crowned man of the match after their Saturday morning kickabouts.
However, they should not expect a T-shirt to mark the match-winning moment.