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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Hackney wins logo row with Nike
Nike vest allegedly bearing Hackney Council logo
Nike said the logo is a symbol of all that is great about amateur football
Sports giant Nike has paid 300,000 to Hackney council after it emblazoned the authority's logo on its products.

The London borough won an out-of-court settlement based on a percentage of sales of the trainers, balls and shirts bearing the "H" design.

The range was meant to celebrate Hackney Marshes, home of the Sunday league and was sold all over the world.

A Nike spokesman said they had acted in good faith but recognised Hackney Council's concerns.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said the council had copyright of the logo, which has been in use since 1965.

This is extra money to spend on sports activities in Hackney, and shows that it was worth standing up to Nike
Jules Pipe

"Our legal team advised us that this was a fair settlement based on the amount of gear sold," he said.

"This is extra money to spend on sports activities in Hackney, and shows that it was worth standing up to Nike."

Hackney Council employed solicitors Marks and Clerk to act on their behalf, but in the end Nike settled before it got to court.

Gregor Grant, of Marks and Clerk, said: "It was an unusual case because Hackney is a public sector organisation. Usually these disputes are between two profit-making companies.

'Park Life'

"Many public organisations have not seen the need to trade mark logos or establish copyright, especially with older designs.

"This case shows that it really is worthwhile for the public sector to ensure its intellectual property rights are established."

Nike's famous "Park Life" advertisement from 1997 features Sunday pub league players being joined by four top Premiership players.

A Nike spokesman said they had intended to celebrate the "football heritage and culture" of Hackney Marshes - home to 87 football pitches.

"In doing so, we inadvertently used imagery that included the council's logo," he said.

"This was done in good faith and not as a deliberate act. However, we recognise the concern this has caused Hackney Council and we are pleased this matter has now been concluded."

The 300,000 settlement includes Hackney's legal costs.


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