McGuireWoods partner Paul
Van den Bulck (International, Brussels) is quoted in the July 16, 2009,
Compliance concerning the upcoming case involving Unibet and the French
government's plans to give sports organizers expanded intellectual property
rights over match results and tournament names.
Discussing the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT - French Tennis
Federation), Van den Bulck explains, "[The FFT has] invoked one article of the
French sports code which says the organiser has a monopoly over the exploitation
of that sports event.... The case will decide the scope of this alleged
monopoly, which is very specific to France. I think this case will go to the
Supreme Court and then to the ECJ (European Court of Justice). We have a deep
past with the French authorities and this is a test case for them. In the code
right now, the scope of the monopoly is vague. It doesn’t go into detail about
much results just about sound and image rights."