As the Euro 2024 football championships approach, excitement is palpable, especially for Scotland's 'Tartan Army', with the Scotland football team securing their place in the tournament. For Scottish (and other) businesses and fans, qualification represents not only a moment of national pride, but also a unique set of opportunities and challenges regarding intellectual property (“IP”).

This blog – the first of a series which Brodies will be publishing over the coming weeks on legal issues relating to the Euros - explores some of the key IP aspects to keep in mind.

1. Trade Mark Protection

    The UEFA Euro 2024 logo, the tournament name, and related emblems are all protected by trade marks. UEFA, the governing body of the tournament, has stringent regulations in place to protect these marks and will likely have its trade mark agents on high alert under a watch service to identify infringement. Unauthorised use of UEFA's trade marks may lead to legal action for infringement of UEFA's rights, which could prove both costly and reputationally damaging. Businesses should ensure that any promotional materials, merchandise, or advertising campaigns involving Euro 2024 branding have proper authorisation from UEFA.

    2. Merchandising and Licensing

      With Scotland in the tournament (which, until recently, has been a rare occurrence), demand for related merchandise is expected to soar. Official Euro 2024 merchandise, including jerseys, hats, and other memorabilia, are protected under IP laws. Companies looking to produce or sell merchandise related to the tournament must obtain licensing agreements from UEFA. Counterfeit goods not only infringe on IP rights but also pose risks to consumers and damage the reputation of official products.

      3. Broadcasting Rights

        Broadcasting rights for Euro 2024 are a significant aspect of IP management. UEFA sells these rights to broadcasters around the world, and any unauthorised streaming or broadcasting of the matches is a violation of these rights (particularly copyright), which can result in severe penalties. Businesses that wish to show the matches in public venues (including Scottish pubs, clubs and fan zones) need to secure the appropriate licenses to avoid infringement. By securing the necessary rights, businesses can provide a legitimate and enjoyable viewing experience for fans, including the Tartan Army.

        4. Digital Content and Social Media

          The digital landscape presents unique IP challenges. Social media platforms will be flooded with Euro 2024 content, from official updates to fan-created materials. While sharing and engagement are encouraged, using official footage, logos, or other protected content without permission can result in takedown notices and potential legal action. Content creators should be mindful of these restrictions and seek appropriate permissions when necessary. UEFA actively monitors and enforces IP rights on social media, so obtaining the right permissions is crucial.

          5. Ambush Marketing

            Ambush marketing, i.e. where companies attempt to associate themselves with Euro 2024 without official sponsorship, is another critical issue. UEFA actively monitors and takes a strong stance against such practices to protect the interests of official sponsors. Companies should avoid any marketing strategies that imply any official association with the tournament unless they are an authorized sponsor. We will be covering this topic in more detail in the next blog of our Euro 2024 series.

            6. Player Image Rights

              The image rights of players participating in Euro 2024 are another layer of IP that needs careful handling. There is no standalone concept of "image rights" under UK law (unlike the position in countries such as France and Euro 2024 host nation, Germany). UK law instead relies on traditional privacy/breach of confidence laws and intellectual property rights (e.g. copyright, trade marks and passing-off). For footballers, some key image rights include the player's name, likeness, personality, signature, caricature, personal appearance and even their shirt number. Using a player's likeness in advertising or promotional materials without proper consent can lead to legal issues. Companies should negotiate image rights agreements directly with players or their representatives if they wish to use such content.

              7. A Boost for Scottish Business and Culture

                Scotland's qualification for Euro 2024 provides a fantastic opportunity for Scottish culture and business to shine on an international stage. Properly navigating IP considerations allows businesses to capitalize on this moment, offering products and experiences that celebrate Scotland's participation while staying within applicable legal boundaries.


                For Scottish businesses and fans (and, no doubt, businesses and fans of all competing nations), Euro 2024 is not just a sporting event but a celebration of national pride. Navigating the IP landscape of Euro 2024 requires vigilance and due diligence. By respecting trade marks, securing appropriate broadcasting and merchandising rights, managing digital content responsibly, avoiding ambush marketing, and respecting player image rights, businesses, content creators and fans alike can enjoy the tournament while staying on the right side of the law.

                As the opening match of the tournament between Scotland and Germany nears ever closer, ensuring compliance with relevant IP laws will contribute to a memorable and lawful celebration of football and a smooth and successful tournament experience for all involved.

                At Brodies, we have extensive experience of advising on a wide range of sports governance issues. Should you wish to discuss anything raised in this article, please contact Andy Nolan, Ally Burr or your usual Brodies contact.


                Ally Burr


                Andy Nolan


                Calum Lavery

                Senior Solicitor

                Clare O'Toole


                Catriona Salton