Guidelines for use of Olympic trademarks and logos

eBay have advised all sellers of the guidelines for usage of official Olympic and London 2012 logos and trademarks. Several words and phrases including for example “London 2012″ are protected under Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995. The same warning should apply to your website and other marketplaces you may trade on.

LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) say “The London 2012 brand is our most valuable asset and we must protect its value to ensure we can fund the staging of the Games in 2012. But we have also been entrusted with protecting the long-term value of the Olympic and Paralympic brands”.

Don’t forget the Olympics is not just about sport, it’s about commercial opportunities for sponsors. If you were thinking of knocking up a few flags with the Olympic Rings on them or printing a few t-shirts to sell it’s probably best not to.

Basically in return for stumping up a big wedge of cash sponsors and merchandise licensees have been promised exclusive rights to use the London 2012 and Olympic brands and if you associate yourself with the games in any unauthorised manner (be it merchandise or something as simple as selling an “Olympic sized breakfast” then you’re breaking the law and LOCOG appear to be particularly zealous in protecting the investments of their sponsors. They’re working with Metropolitan Police, Serious Organised Crime Agency, the UK Border Agency, HM Customs & Excise, Trading Standards, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to take preventative measures against counterfeiting and support the authorities in bringing prosecutions where appropriate, so don’t forget that anything online is easy for them to find and take action against.

Unless you’re an official contractor to the games, or fall under one of the very few exemptions (e.g. “journalists are able to use our emblem etc to illustrate an editorial piece about the Games”) then you’ll probably save yourself a headache by steering clear of all Olympic selling with the exception of legitimate authorised stock.