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Real Madrid Lawsuit Thrown Out

19 Jul 2005

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the UK Times: "Gamblers who enjoy a flutter on Spanish football and, in particular, Real Madrid, can breathe a sigh of relief after a French judge dismissed an injunction to stop the use of the Spanish club and its players' names on bookmakers' websites.

"Representatives of Real Madrid and its five most high profile galaticos - Ronaldo, Beckham, Raul, Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo - argued that seven online bookmakers including Ladbrokes, Sportingbet and William Hill, should either pay a licence fee to use the names or stop taking bets on the club and its players.

"In seeking the injunction, Jean-Luis Dupont, the lawyer who famously won the Bosman freedom-of-contract case and is representing Real Madrid, claimed the bookmakers were using the names for commercial reasons.

"But the bookmakers, who worked together to stop the injunction, denied the allegation, arguing that the use of the club's name and listing of its player's names in bets is factual reporting rather than promotional.

"Real Madrid is very protective of the intellectual property rights of its top players, who include some of the world's biggest footballing stars…"

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