Manchester United will be renamed on Football Manager games from FM22 onwards, following a trademark dispute with games giant Sega.
The football club had argued that Sega and Sports Interactive infringed their trademark over the logo by not using the official Manchester United badge in the game, instead “replacing the club crest with a simplified red and white striped logo”. United claimed that this “deprives the registered proprietor of its right to have the club crest licensed”.
Sega and Sports Interactive dug their heels in over the use of the club’s name, stating that it’s “a legitimate reference to the Manchester United football team in a football context” and has been used in both the Football Manager game and its predecessor Championship Manager since 1992 “without complaint by the claimant”.
Sega and Sports Interactive defence states: “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."
However, earlier this month Sports Interactive and Sega confirmed that both parties have agreed a settlement to amicably resolve their trademark dispute. Sega have tweeted "Manchester United and Sega have agreed a settlement to amicably resolve their trademark dispute relating to Football Manager,".
"Both parties are pleased to resolve this matter to their mutual satisfaction." "These name changes have been made purely to settle the dispute on a no admissions basis.
"SEGA and Sports Interactive maintain that they do not need a licence to use the ‘Manchester United’ name but have made the change as a gesture of goodwill so that both parties can move on."
Sky News reports that Italian club Juventus was removed from the Football Manager 2020 game after signing an exclusive partnership with Konami. The club was instead renamed Zebre in reference to the colours of its famous strip.
As you’d expect, there’s been a mixed response form fans of the game, with some describing it as "petty", while others recognise the need to protect the club's trademark.
Football Manager has been a best-selling football strategy game for 19 years and has been played in over 190 countries. Fair play to Sega for not folding as it means the red devils won’t get the free exposure that comes with being on such a popular game.
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