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National jersey bungle

Posted: 12 May 2011 09:33 PM PDT

Telekom Malaysia claims rights to Tigers stripes, OCM says 'no way'

Friday, May 13th, 2011 12:09:00

The Malaysian tigers national jersey

DIFFERING VIEWS: ... but Ahmad Shabery (left) and Tengku Imran together at the tog's launch last month

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Tigers' "three tiger stripes" national jersey has been hit by controversy over a rights issue.

Doubts have been raised over Telekom Malaysia's (TM) deal with the National Sports Council (NSC) as the former may not actually have the rights to use the design on its Team Malaysia Panthera jerseys, which are being sold on the telecommunications giant's website.

Doubt also exists as to whether they are allowed to use the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) logo as well.

Checks with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia revealed the "three tiger stripes" design was registered by sports attire company Mesuma Sports Sdn Bhd.

Mesuma have been the registered proprietor of the trademark for 10 years (July 9, 2009 - July 9, 2019). The certificates of registration were issued earlier this year on Feb 19.

However, NSC claimed ownership of the design and signed an agreement with TM allowing them to use the logo for the next five years.

The Team Malaysia Panthera jersey was launched by Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek at Menara TM on April 28. Also present were NSC director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong, OCM president Tunku Imran Jaafar and OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi.

Mesuma have been the official attire distributors for OCM since 2006. Their contract expires after the London Olympics next year.

Mesuma owner George Heng declined comment, adding he has "sought legal advice".

TM responded to the issue thus: "TM wishes to clarify that we recently signed an agreement with NSC and the OCM for the exclusive rights to NSC's Panthera jersey and the ever-popular Olympic rings to be used throughout TM's 'Team Malaysia' campaign, including marketing and promotional activities, souvenirs and the dealership rights to produce and distribute merchandise bearing the NSC and OCM logos.

"The original rights of the Panthera T-shirt and its design are owned by NSC and any query pertaining to the matter should be clarified with and addressed to them."

This, however, contradicts what Sieh had to say.

"TM is a national corporate sponsor of OCM in the telecommunications product (fixed line) category. TM is not a sports attire manufacturing company and as such, does not fall within that category," said Sieh.

"TM also does not have a merchandising agreement with OCM to manufacture and sell any sports attire merchandise bearing OCM's logo."

The provision of the Olympic Charter in Article 2.3 of Chapter 4 states "the National Olympic Committees have the sole and exclusive authority to prescribe and determine the clothing and uniforms to be worn, and the equipment to be used, by the members of their delegation on the occasion of the Olympic Games and in connection with all sport competitions and ceremonies thereto."

Mesuma sell their jerseys for RM42 per piece while the Team Malaysia jersey is priced at RM79.90 each.

The Malaysian tigers national jersey

WHOSE BABY IS IT? Controversy has broken out over the ownership of the design on the jersey, which was launched at Menara TM last month — Pic: Razak Ghazali

THE creation of the three stripes national jersey was born out of a desire to instill the fighting spirit of the Malayan Tiger into the hearts of national athletes.

In 2005, a contest was held inviting Malaysians to submit their best design for a new jersey to be used by Malaysian athletes.

From more than 4,000 entries, three were shortlisted. Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing was then asked to redesign it with a national theme in mind.

The national kit was launched by then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Nov 14 that year.

The tracksuit and jersey were orange with wide black stripes.

The original design of the kit had five stripes and was first used by the Malaysian contingent to the 23rd Sea Games in Manila, the Philippines.

In 2006, Mesuma Sports Sdn Bhd became the official attire distributor for the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and decided to reduce the number of stripes to three to make it sponsor friendly.

Mesuma had then registered the design under the Trade Marks Act 1976 on July 9, 2009, and were awarded the certificate of registration from the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia on Feb 19 this year.

Mesuma will continue to provide the official sports attire for the national contingent to the Jakarta Sea Games in December and the London Olympics next year.

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City offer Xavi massive wages

Posted: 12 May 2011 04:19 PM PDT

Friday, May 13th, 2011 07:15:00

Manchester City are to offer Barcelona lynchpin Xavi a massive final payday to end his career at Eastlands. And that will be bad news for Arsenal, as it would leave a Cesc Fabregas-shaped vacancy in the Barca midfield.

City are determined to kick on after clinching a top four finish — which will see them enter the Champions League for the first time next season — and they want to be recognised as among the elite of the game.

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