EURO 2024 – a celebration of sport and the safeguarding of UEFA IP rights

26 June 2024 | Knowledge, News, The Right Focus

The European Football Championship is an example not only of excellent organisation of a sporting event, but also of thoughtful and long-term protection of the organiser’s intellectual property rights. On many levels.

Building an IP rights portfolio through UEFA EURO 2024

Anyone who thinks that Europe’s biggest football event of the year is only about sport is sorely mistaken. With the announcement in September 2018 of Germany as host of the tournament, UEFA i.e. the main organiser, has been systematically securing its intellectual property rights by filing trademark and Community design applications with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The first of these was the word and figurative mark UEFA EURO 20204 GERMANY.


In parallel with the organisational preparations for the tournament, UEFA has been expanding the portfolio of IP rights to be protected by reserving, for example, the distinctive layout elements of graphics currently used in the media coverage of the event, such as those of the host cities, or the graphic of the cup inscribed in a background of flags found on most products relating to the event.






An indispensable element of any event of this stature is, of course, the mascot, which premiered a year before the planned event. In this case, too, an application for an EU trademark, which depicts the friendly Albärt bear, was immediately filed.



UEFA has also taken care to register a whole range of Community designs, which relate to the marks previously discussed.




These are just a small selection of UEFA’s registered trademarks and Community designs. There is also the copyright to the songs played during the broadcast or the official song of the tournament: Meduza, OneRepublic, Leony – Fire (Official UEFA EURO 2024 Song).

The whole thing adds up to a deliberate strategy to fully protect and commercialise the rights.

UEFA EURO 2024 logo only with permission of UEFA

On the occasion of the tournament, UEFA published guidelines detailing all aspects of the use of its IP rights in the context of a sporting event. This is because it is UEFA that decides who can use the championship logo and other registered marks.

Please note that not every use of the EURO 2024 brand is prohibited. If someone uses the EURO 2024 logo in a purely personal, non-commercial way (e.g. at a private party in their home), then there is no obligation to obtain special permission from the owner.

Interestingly, UEFA itself indicates that any individual or company may use UEFA word marks in a commercial context, as long as they are presented purely descriptively and no official association with the organisation is implied. At the same time, it is made clear that the commercial use of official EURO 2024 graphics or emblems is prohibited, and the use of any EURO 2024 word marks must not be more prominent than the rest of the text.

UEFA is known for its attention to its IP rights and its enforcement of potential infringements. In such a case, UEFA may claim damages, the amount of which will depend on the damage suffered by the organisation.

Undoubtedly, the way in which Europe’s biggest football event is prepared in terms of securing intellectual property rights can be an inspiration to others, also in the context of industries not directly related to sport.

The most important thing is to build the legal protection and management of the brand and IP rights portfolio thoughtfully and well in advance, long before the goods or services are officially launched on the market.

Any questions? Contact the author

Tomasz Szambelan

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Tomasz Szambelan

Tomasz Szambelan

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