Uh-oh, Samsung is in big trouble. This Wednesday, it came to light that Brazilian football legend, Pelé, is suing the South Korean tech company for improperly using a lookalike in one of its advertisements.
The South Korean tech firm’s continuing luck of releasing its phones in China along with the VR streaming of the NCAA is now being threatened with a complaint by 75-year-old Pelé, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento.
He is known by many as the best player of all time and has played for Brazil’s victorious World Cup winning teams in 1958 and 1970. He was also in the squad that won in 1962. BBC also reports that the legendary football player became the face of soccer in the U.S. during the later part of his career.
The case allegedly revolves around a Samsung advertisement that was ran after breaking off negotiations in 2013 to use Pelé’s image to promote its products. The ad, which doesn’t name the football player, included a facial photo of a man that looks similar to him.
The complaint also states that it also has a small picture of a footballer making a “modified bicycle or scissors-kick, perfected and famously used by Pele.” The football star is claiming least $30 million USD or 21 million GBP in the legal papers lodged in the District Court in Chicago. The lawsuit filed by Pele IP Ownership LLC, which owns Pelé’s trademark and publicity rights, is dated March 16.
Fortune reports that the complaint also says that Pelé mostly relies on endorsements for his income, and the said ad will hurt the value of his endorsement rights, confusing consumers into believing that he endorses Samsung products.
Pelé’s lawyer, Frederick Sperling, said in a phone interview that “the goal is to obtain fair compensation for the unauthorized use of Pele’s identity, and to prevent future unauthorized uses.” Meanwhile, according to NBC News, Samsung spokeswoman Danielle Meister Cohen said in an email that the South Korean company has no comment regarding the issue.
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