Landmark Court Decisions in the Billion-Dollar Virtual Sports Advertising Market

London High Court of Justice finds infringement of AIM Sport’s patents by competitor Supponor - High damages payable by Supponor and its users

Luzern, 07.02.2023

In the billion-dollar market for virtual sports advertising, The London High Court of Justice has found that virtual sports advertising provider Supponor has infringed patents held by Swiss provider AIM Sport. AIM Sport, a supplier of UEFA and top European clubs such as Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, and Ajax Amsterdam, is seeking to defend its patents in a series of legal cases against Supponor.

AIM Sport accuses Supponor of offering products on the basis of infringements of its internationally held patents. The High Court of Justice in the UK at Supponor's headquarters has now confirmed this viewpoint and ruled in a verdict issued on January 30th that the patents held by AIM Sport are valid in the UK and that Supponor has infringed them. Last year, the Munich District Court and the German Federal Patent Court also issued similar verdicts. These verdicts not only hold Supponor liable for damages to AIM Sport, but also users of Supponor products such as Sportfive, Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern Munich, and FC Barcelona. Sponsors who have advertised or are advertising on Supponor's virtual advertising boards can also be held liable for damages.

Peter Fossen, CEO of AIM Sport, said, "We are pleased with the clear verdict of the High Court of Justice. This is another important step in our journey to protect the innovations and developments of our company that have been created over many years through the hard work of our employees and the important support of our clients and investors. With three decisive and thoroughly justified court decisions on the validity of our patents, the findings of patent infringement by our competitor Supponor, and corresponding liability for damages, we are confirmed in our belief that Supponor's products are only possible through the violation of our patents and the copying of protected features of our products." Also Supponor's latest product, built on the strong heritage of its predecessor, 'Supponor Air,' was unlawfully developed.

This verdict in London applies to all activities controlled from Supponor's London headquarters, including sales and marketing. We will now focus on ensuring that court decisions are enforced and followed. We are very confident that the decisions taken so far will also stand up in any other instances."


Previous court decisions

Last year in March, the Munich District Court ruled that Supponor and Sportfive must end their infringement with immediate effect and compensate AIM Sport for the damage caused by the violations. They were ordered to provide information and give a detailed account for the purpose of determining the amount of damages.

In July of the same year, the German Federal Patent Court fully dismissed a lawsuit filed by Supponor, which aimed to question the validity of AIM Sport's patents in the German market.


The market for virtual sports advertising

The market for virtual sports advertising is relatively new. The technology allows owners of football rights, clubs or associations to multiply their portfolio of digital perimeter advertising and thus their revenues by marketing and broadcasting different versions of the in-game ads for different regions or countries. AIM Sport estimates the market potential of virtual billboard advertising to be 3 to 5 billion euros, particularly because this technology will also enable personalized virtual advertising in the future. Currently, the European sponsorship market generates around 30 billion euros per year.

About AIM Sport

AIM Sport is a pioneer, innovator and market leader in the field of sports marketing and digital perimeter advertising. The company combines its decades-long marketing and trade expertise with unparalleled technology solutions. The Digital Overlay® technology, which is the basis for AIM Sport's virtual billboard advertising, prompted a revolution in sports marketing. The patented technology had its world premiere at the 2015 Audi Cup in the Munich Allianz Arena, where four different feeds were produced using four cameras for all four games of the competition, and is now used by customers such as UEFA, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique de Marseille, Olympique Lyonnais, AC Milan, Inter Milan, AS Roma, Ajax Amsterdam, and PSV Eindhoven.


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