Pele takes Samsung to court after the company used a false image of him
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly called Pele, is suing South Korean electronics company Samsung for thirty-million dollars.
The company reportedly used a look-alike image of him in an ad on The New York Times and national TV.
The Brazilian soccer legend, filed a lawsuit at a Chicago federal court this month, through his attorney, Fred Sperling.
Sperling on behalf of the legend, claimed:
“Samsung used a Pele look-alike in an October advertisement for televisions.
The ad’s wording doesn’t mention Pele, but the elderly black man pictured in it “very closely resembles” Pele with a white soccer player, performing a “modified bicycle or scissors-kick, perfected and famously used by Pele.
The advertisement for ultra high-definition televisions also ran in the New York Times without Pele’s permission”.
The lawsuit said: “The ad will confuse consumers and hurt the value of his endorsement rights”.
The former New York Cosmos player who has endorsement deals with other companies, including Procter and Gamble, Emirates, Volkswagen, and Subway; seeks $30 million in damages.
The lawsuit said:
“The ad appeared after Samsung broke off negotiations to use Pele’s image in 2013.
Samsung pulled out of negotiations at the last minute “and never obtained the right to use Pele’s identity in any manner or in any format.”
Sperling represented former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan in August; a case which got the basketball star $8.9 million in damages.
Jordan had a legal battle with the former supermarket chain, Dominick, after it “improperly used his identity in a print ad”.
The footballer’s lawyer asserted:
“The goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorized use of Pele’s identity and to prevent future unauthorized uses”.
Danielle Meister Cohen, a spokesperson for Samsung, confirmed that the company had no comment on the lawsuit; in an email, Tuesday.
He played Brazil’s victorious World Cup 1958 and 1970.
In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).
The 75 year-old is the best player of all time, according to many. He was in the winning team for Brazil’s victorious World Cup of 1958 and 1970, scoring in both finals.
While playing for Santos he won the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup, twice. The football legend later became the face of “soccer” in the US.
Time magazine named him in their list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century