Manchester United begin legal action against Sega and Sports Interactive

British football team Manchester United have started legal proceedings against Sega Publishing and Sports Interactive, the publisher and developers of the long running Football Manager games.

They alleged that the name Manchester United, which is trademarked, is used “extensively throughout the game”, and that the game has replaced the club’s official crest with a simple red and white logo. This “deprives the registered proprietor of its right to have the club crest licensed”, or in laymans terms, stops Man United cashing in.

In response Sega and Sports Interactive have have said the name is used as “a legitimate reference to the Manchester United football team in a football context”.

Manchester United’s barrister Simon Malynicz QC has said that players would “expect to see the club crest” but admits the case is “somewhat novel, and certainly in the context of video games, but it is certainly arguable”.

“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,” argued the defendants, in other words the name Manchester United has been in the game since 1992 and as club have not complained for 28 years they can’t decide to moan about it now.

Copies of the game have also been sent to Manchester United players and officials and they have praised the title on social media, and Sports Interactive also point out that Manchester United staff working in the data analytics and scouting teams have “contacted SI on various occasions asking for access to the Football Manager database for scouting and research purposes.”

The latest version of the game includes many new features including the Development Centre. It is here where users can get a complete overview of all the young players that are signed to the club, which ones are the ones to watch out for, and which of these young players need extra help to reach their potential. Management of youth staff and teams will take place here with users also being able to see which young players have gone out on loan, the youth team fixtures and results, and how players are performing.

Football Manager 2020 was recently added to the Xbox Games Pass.

Source: Sky Sports

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