This week, Manchester United is suing Sega and Sports Interactive’s Football Manager for their use of their logo. Manchester United claims that Sega is infringing on their trademark by using an improper crest on their uniforms. To put it simply, Sega and Sports interactive are being sued for false advertising.
Manchester alleges that their trademark is being infringed on as Football Manager uses a simplified logo for their team in the lawsuit. “Consumers expect to see the club crest next to the name Manchester United… and this failure to do so amounts to wrongful use,” says United’s barrister Simon Malynicz.
Additionally, Manchester has included in the lawsuit a reference to Football Manager’s mod support. They claim Sega is supplying files with the replica logo for players to then incorporate into the game.
Sega and Sports Interactive responded: “The claimant has acquiesced in the use by the defendants of the name of the Manchester United football team in the Football Manager game and cannot now complain of such use.” They have also accused Manchester United of interfering with the sport games market by suing them.
In their defense, Sega has claimed that they have been using the club’s name without objection since 1992. This is in reference to the game’s predecessor, Championship Manager.
Unlike EA’s FIFA games, Football Manager centers itself around simulation and management. Comparatively, EA’s FIFA games see more success per year, with FIFA 2020 surpassing 20 million players. Moreover, EA has been able to corner the market on sports games in general; they have released other successful sports titles such as NFL, UFC, and NBA. There are little to no competitors in the market for sport games.
The judge has reserved their judgement for this lawsuit until a later date.