First to score, first to file: trade marking goal celebrations at the World Cup

Your IP Insider was supposed to be investigating the latest IPR developments in China and Southeast Asia but despite all best efforts, our attention keeps getting drawn to a little event starting in Brazil on Thursday….

Following the London 2012 Olympics, China saw a rush of applications to register Usain Bolt’s ‘Lightning Bolt’ celebration as a Trade Mark (note that Usain Bolt did not apply). That got us thinking; who has a goal celebration that would be worthy of trade marking? In the past there have been some famous candidates (think of Bebeto’s 1994 ‘Baby-rocking’) as well as some that were more, well, infamous (Peter Crouch’s 2006 ‘Robot’, anyone?!). Below are five celebrations that could make it into the global consciousness if their perpetrators have a successful tournament.

Picture source: Anos Noventa

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – ‘Hulk’

Not averse to a spot of self-promotion, Ronaldo is already pushing his CR7 brand by taking on all the modelling work himself. Upon scoring the fourth goal in Real Madrid’s victory in the Champions League final in May, the Portuguese star stripped off his shirt and tensed every muscle going. Let’s hope this celebration doesn’t become a hit in playgrounds across Europe.

Picture source: Soccer Images

Tim Cahill (Australia) – ‘The Rocky’ 

Another man who likes a pre-planned celebration. The Australian once imitated a man being handcuffed in support of a recently incarcerated relative but his go-to act is to sprint to the nearest corner flag and deliver a couple of jabs followed by a knock-out punch. Not really one for the playgrounds either.

Picture source: Top Soccer

Daniel Sturridge (England) – ‘The Sturridge Dance’

It’s difficult to describe this one. Think of the classic aeroplane celebration (both arms stretched wide out) mixed with ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ and your imagination will still be tested to the limit. Whatever the dance is supposed to be, if Sturridge scores a hatful of goals, England fans may well be copying it for years to come.

Picture source: Sportsvibe


Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – ‘The Kiss’

His form going into the World Cup suggests that his name will be featuring on scoreboards across Brazil. Liverpool fans are already very familiar with his reaction to every goal he scores – wheeling away before kissing his wrist. Why his wrist? Because he has a tattoo of his daughter’s name ‘Delfina’ there. By bizarre coincidence, ‘Delfina’ is also an anagram of ‘Anfield’, the stadium where his name is chanted most weeks. Spooky.

Picture source: Talk Sport

The Brazil team

Not only are the hosts reputed for their verve and attacking flair, but also for their flamboyant celebrations. In the 2012 Olympics the Brazilian women’s team celebrated goals with a synchronised jig. Let’s hope for something special when their male compatriots first hit the back of the net. An honourable mention also goes to Ghana here, another team that prefers a collective celebration.

There could be many more players whose celebrations become iconic enough to tempt a few trade mark applications, let’s just hope for plenty of goals to get excited about. Our alarms have been set, the wall chart is up and predictions (mostly backing tiki-taka or samba) have been made. Hora da onca beber agua!

Picture source:  Hidalgo Sport

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