Munich 2018 Claims "No Issue" in Trademark "Logo Controversy"
Reports in the German media surfaced Monday with claims that the stylized 'M' logo used for Munich's 2018 Olympic bid is confusingly similar to that of a Berlin-based real estate firm that does business in Munich. The report was originally published in Merkur online but is now being widely reported as a major "logo controversy".
The Munich 2018 'M' logo was selected in October, 2009 after 50,000 people participated in a national vote and chose among three final designs submitted by German citizens as part of a logo competition. The slopes on the 'M' are said to resemble the Bavarian Mountains and the tent roofs of Munich Olympic Park, according to Munich 2018 sources. However Anne Metzger, head of the real estate firm AM Immobilien Consulting says that it is also resembles her logo that was trademarked in 2006 - and it's so similar that potential clients now won't take her firm seriously, Merkur reported. Metzger went on to describe the situation "defamatory" to her firm.
Metzger has now hired an attorney and has filed an opposition at the German Patent and Tradmark office. She told Merkur that when she confronted the Munich bid committee about the similarity of the logos - she was served with a lawyer's letter asking for her to pay legal expenses.
"There is no issue at all concerning the use of our logo. We registered our logo at the German trade mark office for all existing classes," Jochen Färber, Director of Communications for Munich 2018 exclusively told GamesBids.com on Monday.
"Our logo was originally conceived and developed by us and was duly registered through all the correct legal and copyright channels. The request by a real estate agency from Berlin will in no way effect the momentum which Munich has built up in the final days to the IOC decision in Durban."
The bid has recently made an art out of handling issues with opponents. In May, Munich 2018 won important referendums in Garmisch-Partenkirchen - the location of Munich's snow cluster - and then sealed an agreement with a hostile landowner to secure a critical parcel of land at Kandahar for a ski event. These victories have helped create the momentum Färber described.
Munich is competing with PyeongChang, Korea and Annecy, France to host the 2018 Games; an International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote in Durban, South Africa on July 6th will determine the winner. Should Munich win, IOC regulations will force the new organizing committee to choose a new logo for the Games. Should the German city lose, the organization will dissolve. Either way, the Munich 2018 logo will have little use beginning July 7 so the goals of this legal action are unclear. Metzger was unavailable for comment at press time.
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