LGIO pulls out of Quebec over cage design dispute

source: topmmanews.com
 

Let’s Get It On MMA (LGIO) has announced the cancellation of all Eastern shows scheduled to take place at the Casino Lac Leamy throughout 2010. Issues involving the regulatory bylaws of the province of Quebec, which governs combative sports, are cited as the reason for the cancellation.

For several months LGIO MMA has been in discussions with the RACJ Sports de Combat, which serves as the athletic commission in Quebec and is the regulatory body, which oversees all combative sports in the province.

The RACJ has bylaws that mandate the type of combative platform that is allowed to be used during Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events. The RACJ bylaws mandate that an “octagon” style of cage is the only approved cage-fighting platform. Currently Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC, owns the trademark rights to any octagonal (or anything similar to an octagon) cage-fighting platform. Any promoter wishing to use an octagon must first seek approval and licensing through Zuffa, LLC. LGIO has not been able to secure any approval from Zuffa, LLC, despite numerous attempts to contact them over the past several months. “At this time it would be hazardous for the reputation and legal standing of LGIO to use a trademarked cage without the expressed approval of the trademark owner”, stated Elaine McCarthy, Executive Producer and Promoter of LGIO.

LGIO MMA uses a distinct circular cage because of their belief that it is the best and least obtrusive fighting environment available. After multiple discussions and presentations by LGIO, the RACJ was ultimately unable to make an amendment in their legislative regulations or bylaws in time to give approval to LGIO for their first scheduled show in the east in May.

LGIO MMA is currently in the process of re-working the tournament format to take place at the River Cree Resort and Casino, at Enoch Alberta, just outside of Edmonton.

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Recent Comments »

Vitor29 site profile image  

5/13/10 10:32 AM by Vitor29

make you wonder if Zuffa has a hand in RACJ Sports de Combat being so inflexible regarding the shape of the cage....

RockForLight site profile image  

5/13/10 12:50 AM by RockForLight

"Apple doesn't have a trademark on a shape.""The Ipod shape is a soft edged rectangular. I have no idea if its trademarked, but I can say that my Sony MP3 player is the exact same shape, as was my previous MP3 player."Since you won't look it up... http://www.tuaw.com/2008/05/12/apple-gets-trademark-for-ipod-shape/So yes, it is trademarked. And a reason why: "One key advantage of the trademark over patents is that while the latter expire after a period of time, a trademark can be continually renewed.""I am POSITIVE that you can start a business in the UK, use the triangle, color it yellow or burnt orange and be good to go without legal troubles. (In fact, if you look below I have listed several UK businesses that use a triangle, including one that uses a red triangle.)"You wrote, "You can NOT trademark a SHAPE unless it is an innovation, critical to the function of the product, free use endangers your ability to compete or protect your product." This is incorrect. You now point out that many people use the triangle shape (to deduce what the law is) note that none of them look like Bass's and are used to sell beer... See "confusingly similar" http://marklaw.com/trademark-glossary/confuse.htmAnd if there were triangle designs used to sell beer, it would not mean that they had no trademark because it was a shape, rather they did not enforce it and/or a weak mark.So your advice above is not very sound, if it is confusingly similar. And those are more examples of shapes that are trademarks. So not helping your cause."The Nike Swoosh is NOT a shape, it is an artistic rendering. A triangle, an octogan, a circle, a square, these are shapes. (Don't all objects have shape, whether or not rendered artistically?) The easiest way to differentiate between a rendering and a shape are to note its role in standard mathematics." The swoosh is not a wing shape? Go on. Fascinating. It is only a shape if there is a role in "standard mathematics." I'm not sure what you mean or what you accomplished by inventing this difference between shapes and "an artistic rendering." I think you are trying to draw a distinction involving geometric shapes. But, that doesn't help your, "you can not trademark a shape argument" either.I appreciate your thoughtful arguments, though not based in law (and you are using patent, trademark and copyright interchangeable... Not a strong sign you know what you are talking about.) But perhaps this has been a misunderstanding and you are not trying to argue what the law is, but what you would like the law to be?I have a hard time believing you are being serious... Have I been trolled? Kazja?

100Percent site profile image  

5/12/10 7:25 PM by 100Percent

The Nike Swoosh is NOT a shape, it is an artistic rendering. A triangle, an octogan, a circle, a square, these are shapes. The easiest way to differentiate between a rendering and a shape are to note its role in standard mathematics.The information YOU provided stated that the RED triangle was the UK's first trademarked symbol. I am POSITIVE that you can start a business in the UK, use the triangle, color it yellow or burnt orange and be good to go without legal troubles. (In fact, if you look below I have listed several UK businesses that use a triangle, including one that uses a red triangle.)Apple doesn't have a trademark on a shape. It has a trademark on a artistic rendering of an APPLE with 2 bites in it. An apple is not a shape. It can be drawn many ways. A circle can only be drawn ONE way, as is the case for an octogan.The Ipod shape is a soft edged rectangular. I have no idea if its trademarked, but I can say that my Sony MP3 player is the exact same shape, as was my previous MP3 player. My musings on the law are based on two things (1) common sense (2) and (hold for this) the ability to read. None of the examples you've given, with the exception of the Bass Brewery are indeed a shape. The triangle can be used, and is used, throughout the UK: http://www.triangle.org.uk/http://www.triangle.eu.com/http://www.trianglepartners.co.uk/http://www.trianglemanchester.co.uk/http://www.nirvanaeurope.com/eventdetails.php?m=10.124http://www.qbn.com/topics/623010/http://www.sign-update-magazine.co.uk/Sign-News/josero-triangle-inks.html (here's one with a RED triangle)In conclusion, one doesn't have to worry about whether you can afford a trial. If you have a good lawyer, you will only be paying for a preliminary hearing. A good lawyer CAN keep a case based on the trademarking of a SHAPE out of court. If they can't, you've got a shitty lawyer. Again I say, fuck the UFC. These guys ought to use whatever the fuck they want and let a new judge determine the outcome. This is a clear act of treachery and greed.

RockForLight site profile image  

5/12/10 2:27 AM by RockForLight

Isn't the Nike swoosh a shape? Not a trademark? If you look at the US registration, the Bass triangle shape has no color claimed... and if "red" were the operative word... isn't a standard of trademark infringement, confusingly similar? So that if there was a beer with a triangle mark of another color, and it were confusingly similar, the owner would be protected?"You can NOT trademark a SHAPE unless it is an innovation, critical to the function of the product, free use endangers your ability to compete or protect your product." My friend you are thinking of a patent, and probably only a utility patent. Shapes are trademarked often. (Refer to the trademark Apple obtained for the shape of the iPod. Go ahead, google it. We will wait for you...)And to clue you in. The issue here is NOT whether you can trademark a shape, so SAVE US from your musings about what the law is.

robnashville site profile image  

5/11/10 11:33 PM by robnashville

Bellator had the same problem in Montreal back in May of last yearhttp://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=8760"MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday confirmed the change of venue with Bellator matchmaker Matt Stansell, following up an initial report by Ariel Helwani of AOL Fanhouse."We were having issues with the circular cage in Montreal," Stansell told MMAWeekly.com. "The commission was having difficulty with it. We're not willing to modify that.""The RAJC have had over a year to adjust this and still haven't done it....I also have to ask what effect any possible Zuffa lobbying may have had on the Octagon only directive. We know that when CSAC was forming their guidelines for MMA, Zuffa sought to have the cage and only the cage as a permissible fighting surface, even sending Ken Shamrock before the Commiss. to argue the case against the ring. The ulterior motive for going cage only was to effectively block the Pride promotion from being able to run shows in California. Is that what happened here, cockblocking the competition through regulatory trickeration? I don't know but I would be interested to see the timeline surrounding the RAJC's choice of Octagon only.

likatiga site profile image  

5/11/10 11:16 PM by likatiga

edit, meh

fayceofff site profile image  

5/11/10 10:54 PM by fayceofff

From UFC.com: "Zuffa, LLC licenses the distribution of its fight show DVDs through Studioworks Entertainment, a Ventura Distribution company. “Ultimate Fighting Championship,” “Ultimate Fighting,” “UFC,” “The Ultimate Fighter,” “Submission,” “As Real As It Gets”, "The Octagon" and the eight-sided cage design are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC or other respective owners."I'm no lawyer, and I would agree that you can't trademark or make exclusive a SHAPE in and of itself. But that shape incorporated in or related to a specific thing... That's a different story. So it would seem to me that if you wanted to use the octagon as pertaining to cars, for example, you'd be good to go. But trying to use it in connection with fighting is going to get the UFC's lawyers' attention. And like someone else said, it's less a question of whether you can WIN the lawsuit but whether you can AFFORD to fight the fight.I did notice, though, that they also trademark the term "submission", and I've never heard of any legal friction between them and NAGA or any other organization or school for using that word in association with their tournaments or curriculum... Interesting.All that being said - the Quebec commission obviously screwed up with their bylaw and it should definitely be changed, now that they know that it essentially gave Zuffa a monopoly in their jurisdiction.

fishyfish site profile image  

5/11/10 8:09 PM by fishyfish

sounds like corruption

Forssberg site profile image  

5/11/10 6:24 PM by Forssberg

I think the regulation mandating use of an octagon-shaped cage was adopted at the time to mirror the existing boxing regulation which mandated the use of a ring of defined dimensions. Since the most popular cage then in use was the UFC's they simply adopted it as a uniform standard. Not much foresight in that but that's what must have happened.

Macedawgg site profile image  

5/11/10 5:55 PM by Macedawgg

 They didn't have to Mike--they chose to because it was cheaper than the alternative, i.e. litigating the merits, which is an enormous proposition.  That said, I agree.  That seems like an abuse of discretion and an abdication of regulatory oversight responsibility by the Quebec commission.



 

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