Bradman’s son moves court against commercial use of name in India

March 29th, 2009 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, March 29 (IANS) Sir Donald Bradman’s son has sued the law firm that allowed the legendary cricketer’s name to be used to sell biscuits in India, saying that his father’s identity is not “a brand name, like Mickey Mouse”.
John Bradman is suing national law firm Allens Arthur Robinson for allowing his father’s reputation to be “exploited”.

John is seeking, on behalf of the executors of the late Sir Donald’s estate, unspecified financial damages from Allens Arthur Robinson for failing to take “due care, skill and diligence” in licensing use of The Don’s name for commercial purposes, The Australian reports.

“John has accused the law firm of using his father’s identity as a brand name, like Mickey Mouse,” the report said.

Letters tabled by Bradman’s family in Supreme Court revealed Bradman was unaware of the monetary value of his name, and show the cricketing great was concerned about the control of his estate.

“Bradman did not know how much his name was worth,” the cricket legend’s son told the Supreme court.

“He said that he really had no idea that his name would have the commercial value, which it apparently has, and agreed that a fair benefit should flow to the family,” Bradman wrote to Allens partner Jim Dwyer in 1998.

“He also said that while he can contain the use of his name during his lifetime, after his death he would like the family to have a fair say in its use.”

The family is arguing that the firm failed to act on Sir Don’s request to allow his relatives the “power of veto” over trademark use.

Supreme Court judge Chris Kourakis Saturday found the firm had not breached its retainer and the family had taken too long to lodge action on certain points. However, the court would hear argument at a later date on whether the firm breached its trustee duties.

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