F1: Nico Rosberg forced to change the design of his new helmet because it featured an image of the World Cup Trophy
Mercedes driver unveiled a new livery for the German Grand Prix this weekend
Thursday 17 July 2014
Nico Rosberg has been forced to change the design of his helmet for the German Grand Prix because it featured an image of the World Cup Trophy.
With this weekend's grand prix taking place at Hockenheim, Rosberg's home race, the Mercedes driver unveiled a special new livery on Twitter earlier this week to commemorate Germany's fourth World Cup win.
However, reports stated that Rosberg would have to change the design because it fell foul of strict guidelines on using their trademarks.
Fifa confirmed to The Independent that they had been in contact with the driver to "find a solution" to commemorate Germany's win without using Fifa's "intellectual property".
Images on social media (via ESPN F1) show a new helmet which features a large star to commemorate Joachim Low's achievement in Brazil, as well as three others for the World Cup wins in 1954, 1974 and 1990.
"Fifa is obliged to take action against any unauthorised reproduction of its intellectual property in a commercial context," a Fifa spokesperson told The Independent.
"If Fifa would not follow up on any potential infringements of its intellectual property, it would risk losing its legal right and title to such works, thereby endangering the foundation of its commercial programme which is driven primarily by the access to and usage of our brand marks, including the Fifa World Cup Trophy.
"An example of the strength of Fifa’s intellectual property assets is reflected by recent research in seven key global markets where the Fifa World Cup Trophy recorded an average recognition level of 83%. These levels are significantly higher than any other sporting trophies. As a result, we cannot allow a commercially branded helmet to feature the Fifa World Cup Trophy as this would jeopardise the rights of our Commercial Affiliates.
"We appreciate Nico Rosberg’s desire to congratulate the German team and have therefore been in discussions with the Rosberg team to attempt to find a solution, whereby he is still able to show his support for Germany without using Fifa intellectual property in a commercial context."
Rosberg, who has also signed a new contract with Mercedes this week, fell foul of Fifa's strict guidelines on unauthorised use of their trademarks.
The guidelines state: "Any unauthorised use of the official marks not only undermines the integrity of the Fifa world cup and its marketing programme, but also puts the interests of the worldwide football community at stake."
Rosberg enters the German GP leading the Drivers' World Championship, four points ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The German retired in the last race at Silverstone and saw Hamilton drive to his first win there since 2008.
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