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WWF Appeals Logo Ruling

1 Oct, 2001 By: Hive News

The World Wrestling Federation won permission in London on Monday to appeal a ruling that restricts it from using the WWF initials, the Associated Press reports. Thelogo is also associated with the World Wildlife Fund, a wildlife charity that won the rights to use the initials.

The Court of Appeal will hear the legal challenge as a matter of urgency, said the AP.

Justice Robin Jacob also ordered the Stamford, Conn.-based wrestling group to pay $221,000 toward the World Wildlife Fund's legal costs, expected to total $607,000.

In August, the World Wildlife Fund, best known for its work protecting the giant panda and other endangered species, won a judgment curbing the wrestling association's ability to promote itself using the WWF logo.

The judge ruled then that the wrestling group had breached a 1994 agreement between the two sides that limited its use of the initials.

Jacob permitted the wrestling organization limited use of the initials in the U.S., but it will no longer be able to use the wwf.com Web address. The wildlife group has wwf.org.

The World Wrestling Federation was not ordered to take immediate action pending an appeal.

The wrestling group argued that it isn't bound by the 1994 agreement, which it claims is an unreasonable restraint of trade and a breach of equal competition rights.

The dispute arose after the wrestling federation's popularity increased outsidethe U.S. and it began increasing usage of the WWF initials in magazines, videos and merchandising.

Under the 1994 agreement, the wrestling group promised not to use the initials in writing anywhere in the world and not to use the initials orally to sell merchandise, except in America.

The wildlife charity has maintained WWF as its trademark for 40 years, said the AP.

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