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Chelsea still owns ‘José Mourinho’ - (30 May 2016)

Intellectual Property Rights

Feel like you’re leaving a part of yourself behind when you leave your job? José Mourinho may be experiencing that a little too literally for his own liking.

Chelsea football club manager José Mourinho was recently announced to head arch rivals Manchester United. But the transfer was not as simple as burning a hundred page contract with your old employer and signing a fresh one with the new.

While football clubs bank on their players’ names, Chelsea FC actually owns trademarks for its former manager’s name and signature. Aside from the usual team merchandise of jerseys, statuettes and games, the club also holds a Europe-wide trade mark on Mourinho’s name for domestic utensils, containers, bath salts and fax machines. Some of the marks are not up for renewal till 2023.

While it is unlikely that Chelsea will continue producing José Mourinho memorabilia, it now is in a position to prevent others from doing so as well. Negotiations for licensing or buying outright the ownership in the marks are ongoing.


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