Manchester United is not very happy with Football Manager’s use of its name over the years.
The club has taken legal action against Sega and Sports Interactive for having “infringed the use” of their brand by using their name “extensively during the game”. Manchester United also argues that it has not been accompanied with the official shield, but with a simplified version of it.
As Sega has responded, Football Manager and its predecessor, Championship Manager, have been using the Manchester United name since 1992 “with no complaints from the complainant”, and their use is “a legitimate reference to Manchester United football team in a soccer context. “
Sega also argues that the club seeks to “prevent legitimate competition in the field of video games by preventing parties not licensed by the plaintiff from using the name of the Manchester United football team in their games,” and that attempting to prevent the use of its name would imply “an unreasonable restriction of the right to free speech to use the words ‘Manchester United’ to refer to a team in a video game.”
The club also seeks to go against the mods and patches of the users because it considers that they are “encouraged and promoted” by Sega and SI to “benefit from them without the need to take any licenses and enjoy the increase in sales of their game.”
We’ll see how this all ends.