The league alleges that Geelong-based Dimmeys is guilty of “passing off” because its Supportergear Footy range and various ranges of children’s accessories – which carry club colours as well as references to specific teams – rip off its trade mark and product designs.
The AFL appears to have a strong case. While there is nothing to stop Dimmeys retailing football gear (or engaging well known former player Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico as its longstanding public face), trade mark and fair-trading laws will prevent it falsely implying a link or association with AFL clubs or the league itself.
A common test with such violations is whether members of the public would be confused into thinking the products come from another source. In this case, official AFL products are being sold alongside Dimmeys own brands and there is bound to be confusion as to the source of the merchandise.