Android Central

What we see here is a perfectly innocent Android game known as Retro Athletics. But, it didn't always go by that moniker. No, sadly it seems the world has officially gone mad, as the title had to be renamed for using the 'brand' of the Olympics summer sporting occasion taking place in the UK this year. 

We're not going into politics, that's not why we're here. But, it's a pretty sad day when the Olympics summer sporting occasion taking place in the UK this year is deemed more as a brand to be infringed upon, than the global event it's meant to be. The point to note here is that should you have previously downloaded the title under its old name, it's probably a good idea to uninstall and download again from the Play Store. Seems that Google pulled the title completely, so should you want to benefit from any future updates you'll need to have this variant. 

Source: Droidgamers, Download: Retro Athletics


Reader comments

Retro Olympics becomes Retro Athletics, still don't mention the Olympics


any word connected to the olympics is trade marked worldwide by the olympic governing body and always has been! you cant have London, 2012, olympics, the rings, etc in any game, app, poster, product or merchandise on sale around the games without prior consent and so its obvious it would be pulled and asked to change.

whats the problem...

Apple Created the Olympics along with slide to unlock, touching multiple points on a screen, and electricity. Starting at the end of this year any android phone to use electricity to power it will be subject to lawsuits...

I'm starting my own business to sell people things on the Web. Planning to call it "Android Central Gadgets ." Based on this article I will assume that's ok with you guys.

I'm fairly sure the commercialized money grubbers at the IOC did not invent, coin, or otherwise influence the word "olympics". Hold on, let me check... ...
1590–1600; < Latin Olympicus of Olympus, of Olympia < Greek Olympikós. See Olympus, -ic

Yep, I was right. I'm pretty sure the copyright office didn't exist in or prior to 1600.

Had the game used the rings or some other direct reference to the official o-word games, then perhaps this had merit. I fail to see how it was attempting to gain from any official branding. The game was simply using the word in it's ancient context.

Is this some kind of joke? Dont mention the Olympics...
Sorry I'm from another country...

Tnks in advance!

Try a little research. The Olympic "trademark" is actually specific statutory protection passed by Congress in 1950. In the US the rights to its use belong to the USIOC. Other countries have similar laws. This is important especially in the US since the government doesn't fund the Olympics team like other countries do. USIOC is pretty good about allowing its use by educational, charitable, and educational groups like the "Special Olympics" and "Science Olympiad" etc., but you DO need to get their permission

I'm British and at the moment we've got the brand police threatening action against people all over the UK. We're making light of it, we're an Android site after all. Not CNN

It's always been a mystery to me how some organizations are allowed to use the term and others aren't. When I was a kid, I took part in a national competition called "Olympics of the Mind", which was a science / thought competition with events for physics, computer programming, etc. This was in the mid-eighties - after a couple years, the competition's organizers were forced to change the name to "Odyssey of the Mind".

Nothing new here. I was on a track team in the '70's in NC called Junior Olympic Striders and you can bet we got a cease and desist letter and had to change the name. At least they couldn't take our t-shirts.

I also work for a bank (rhymes with Smells Cargo) and earlier this summer the marketing folks sent out a company wide e-mail reminding folks not to use 'Olympics' or any other variation in marketing materials so we don't get sued. They do the same thing in March re 'March Madness'.

And think for a moment what it would be like if there wasn't legal protection for the "brand." There would be several international competitions all calling themselves the "Olympics" and using the 5 rings,the song and the flag. We would have the Olympics in Atlanta put on by Coca-Cola, the Olympics in Seattle put on by Microsoft, there would be Olympics with the same flag in Iran where no women would compete, and an Olympics at Penn State for boys 12 and under.

Then there would be the Reality TV Olympics on each network all using the same logo and song and, of course, "Real Housewives of the Summer Olympics"

You can say this little app was no threat, but if an owner of a trademark does not go after EVERY unauthorized use that they know about, the courts may not protect them when the more important violations happen.

But the Olympics has no right to the trademark. Everyone talks about the Mickey Mouse trademark laws. This guy started up the Olympics a few hundred years ago and someone decides no one else can use the term. But the original Olympics predate him by a couple of thousand years. And he wasn't even Greek (I think he was French), where the original Olympics came from.

It's not a trademark the way most people think of it. International treaties /conventions after WWII between countries set out that each country's organizing committee had the right to use the name in their own territory. In effect, the international organization was recognized as the governing body with each country having the "license" within their border and statutes were passed to effectuate this. In much the same way a statue says only the American Red Cross can use the Red Cross logo in the US (there are some exceptions for pre-statue uses for both Red Cross and "Olympic")

"Trademarks" in any case are not a naturally occurring thing but a creation of governments and, in this case, the governments of the world have decided who has the right to use the phrase and logo. It doesn't belong to the old guy that thought it up but was effectively given by the world's governments to the IOC and the individual national organizations.

They have the rights to it for the same reason Disney has the right to MM -- because a government has said it does.

If don't like it, probably need to buy a ticket to Geneva to complain there.