26 May 2016Trademarks

Chelsea’s ‘Jose Mourinho’ trademarks could delay Manchester United move

Chelsea Football Club still owns trademarks for the name ‘Jose Mourinho’, which could delay the football manager’s expected appointment as Manchester United’s next manager.

A search on the European Union Intellectual Property Office trademark database for the term ‘Jose Mourinho’ shows four related to various goods and services, including jewellery and t-shirts.

Two of the marks were approved during the Portuguese manager’s first stint in charge of the club between 2004 and 2007. His signature was also registered for by Chelsea later that year.

Another trademark was registered by Chelsea in 2013, during Mourinho’s second spell at the club.

The earlier marks are valid until 2025 and the 2013-registered mark is valid until 2023.

Mourinho is expected to be named as Manchester United’s new manager, replacing Louis Van Gaal who was sacked by the club on May 23.

According to reports, to resolve the situation, United could pay Chelsea to license the mark. United could also try and prove it has has not been used by Chelsea.

The Bright Stuffa blog by law firm Temple Bright, reported on Chelsea's 'Mourinho' trademarks today, May 26, saying "there must be serious question marks" about the extent to which they are to a "greater or lesser extent susceptible to revocation."

"Either on the grounds that they are deceptive as to trade origin (given that Mourinho is no longer associated with the club) or for non-use," the blog said.

"However, a challenge to the marks would take some time, and it is quite possible Mourinho might have left Man United before any such dispute could be resolved.

"It makes sense for Man U[nited] to negotiate with Chelsea now for assignment of their marks, so that they can fully exploit what is undoubtedly a special brand," it added.

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