Lewis Cohen talks to Goal

Posted on 19 October 2015. Source: Goal

Lewis Cohen talks to Goal

As Goal asks: 'Do Real Madrid risk losing Ronaldo to Man Utd?', Lewis Cohen, an intellectual property lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, discusses the image rights issues the question raises.

Basically, the Peter Lim deal is all about Ronaldo – it’s about the brand, about Ronaldo himself – in a non-Real Madrid context and not wearing a Real Madrid shirt. He is, after all, a brand on his own, separate from being a player at Real Madrid,” said Cohen.

He’s just carved it up – and you can carve it up in many ways – it’s quite flexible since there is no such thing as an image right. You can carve them up very neatly and what we’re looking at here is that Lim has an exclusive licence for six years – through Mint Media - to use the image rights related to Cristiano Ronaldo in certain categories in certain markets and to do certain things. This is what Mint Media will do, and in return Ronaldo might still get ongoing payments as deals go through.

Part of his pay will be salary and part will be through his image rights licence, so that won’t have been terminated and so I’d be incredibly shocked if the deal Ronaldo’s image rights vehicle has entered into has an agreement which would have any impact on his transfer. And if anything, it makes his transfer a bit easier because usually negotiable details have been carved out. It’s still going to involve stupid money, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t believe it will stop a deal in any way.

Just as Portugal can make money out of Ronaldo wearing their kit, clubs can do the same with him on their own merchandise.”

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