Plight of Café Olympic Will Serve as a Warning to London’s Businesses

Newham Council, the local council to the Stratford Olympic Park, is looking into the case of a small Stratford café, Café Olympic, and its illegal use of the Olympic name.

Under the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995, which was amended in 2006 after London won the right to host the Games in 2012, use of the Olympic name and symbols is strictly prohibited, along with certain protected words including Olympians, Olympiad, Games and 2012.

Words such as London, gold, silver, bronze and medals used in conjunction with Olympic or 2012 could also infringe the 2006 Act.

The owner of Café Olympic, Kamel Khichane, claimed Newham Council had only advised against use of the Olympic Rings.

Kirsten Gilbert, Partner at Marks & Clerk Solicitors, comments:

“Businesses such as Café Olympic and its neighbours the Olympic Café and Olympic Internet need to be aware of the potential illegality of their names. Newham Council, as the local council to the Olympic site, must do its best to educate local traders to ensure that they are aware of the trade mark protection surrounding the Games.”

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a significant source of sponsorship revenue and the regulations brought in after London won the right to host the Games ensure the Olympic name, the 5 Rings Symbol and various LONDON 2012 logos can only be used by official sponsors.”

“The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has very wide ranging powers to ensure that no-one piggy-backs on the event to violate sponsors’ rights. When assessing a potential infringement, LOCOG will be looking at whether a person or company is looking to create an impression of association so businesses will need to tread very carefully.”

“The case of Café Olympic serves as a warning to businesses hoping to benefit from the Games.”

For further information relating to the use of the Olympic symbol etc read the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995, or the Trade Marks section of our Intellectual Property business advice.

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