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tennisnewbie09
03-20-2011, 02:54 PM
I am not a lawyer, but I've been reading a lot on paintjobs and players representing that they are playing certain rackets. For example, if Nadal, Djokovic, or any players using a paintjob and the racket they are suppose to be playing, but it's not really that racket, isn't that misrepresentation? Isn't that misleading the public to just sell rackets and ultimately, isn't that illegal and grounds for a lawsuit? It's obvious that you can prove that they player is not really playing that specific racket if you check the specs and materials.

Greg Raven
03-20-2011, 02:56 PM
No. Technically, the players endorse the brand, not any particular stick. Plus you might not have standing, and you'd have to show that you were somehow harmed.

Bobby Jr
03-20-2011, 03:16 PM
In short, no. The type of lawsuit potential you're suggesting is requires some harm or loss. Establishing this is paramount to the argument and it's simply not possible. Where is the harm/loss in having a frame different?

Marketing puffery is absolutely commonplace (such as saying "this racquet feels great" - it's a purely subjective comment which no-one with above minimal IQ would take as being a provable fact - if it could even be tested fairly) and is rarely grounds for a complaint.

That aside, it's pretty obvious for practical reasons, not to mention common knowledge, that sportspeople use customised variants of most items of equipment and/or clothing.

vsbabolat
03-20-2011, 05:55 PM
In short, no. The type of lawsuit potential you're suggesting is requires some harm or loss. Establishing this is paramount to the argument and it's simply not possible. Where is the harm/loss in having a frame different?

Marketing puffery is absolutely commonplace (such as saying "this racquet feels great" - it's a purely subjective comment which no-one with above minimal IQ would take as being a provable fact - if it could even be tested fairly) and is rarely grounds for a complaint.

That aside, it's pretty obvious for practical reasons, not to mention common knowledge, that sportspeople use customised variants of most items of equipment and/or clothing.

Nike was sued over the Ball Tiger Woods was using.
Woods does not use ball he promotes, admits sponsor
By Simon Davis in Los Angeles 12:00AM BST 24 Aug 2000
NIKE, the sports equipment company, has been forced to concede that Tiger Woods does not use the golf balls he is paid £694,000 a year to endorse.

After a consumer group filed a lawsuit in a California court, Nike has admitted that amateur golfers could not buy the same balls as their championship-winning hero.

Woods receives the money to endorse the Nike Tour Accuracy, which has quickly become a best-seller, but he has used a unique and specially modified ball in his recent run of victories in the majors.

"Tiger Woods does not play the Nike Tour Accuracy golf ball, but plays one with a different composition and performance characteristics specially made for him and not available to the general public," the plaintiffs said in their law suit.

The Woods-endorsed ball is heavily promoted in television and magazine advertisements. But it has an extra hard shell and inner segment to make it tougher and enable him to hit further. "Those two elements are slightly firmer than the marketed ball," said Mike Kelly, marketing director for Nike Golf.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/1367429/Woods-does-not-use-ball-he-promotes-admits-sponsor.html

And then because of the lawsuit filed Nike released the ball to the public.:
Nike to market real Tiger Woods ball

Sports giants Nike will make the golf ball exclusively used by Tiger Woods available to the public - six months after the threat of a lawsuit.

The American company admitted in August that the golf balls Woods plays are not the brand he endorses for the company.

The ball the world number one actually used had a slightly harder inner and outer core than the Tour Accuracy ball sold to the public.

But Nike is to introduce the Tour Accuracy TW, which will be available later this year.

And the company plans to let consumers decide which ball they prefer.

Nike will market a sleeve of balls with two each - the TW and the regular Tour Accuracy - and a dozen-ball set that has two sleeves of each ball.

No price has yet been released by Nike, though it is expected to be slightly higher than the regular Tour Accuracy ball.

To me ALL the racquet companies are like Snake Oil Salesmen. I would describe the racquet companies as being disingenuous.

cnr1guy
03-20-2011, 06:00 PM
I am not a lawyer, but I've been reading a lot on paintjobs and players representing that they are playing certain rackets. For example, if Nadal, Djokovic, or any players using a paintjob and the racket they are suppose to be playing, but it's not really that racket, isn't that misrepresentation? Isn't that misleading the public to just sell rackets and ultimately, isn't that illegal and grounds for a lawsuit? It's obvious that you can prove that they player is not really playing that specific racket if you check the specs and materials.

(1) you can't prove they aren't using their racquets they say they are and (2) the companies can simply say the pros are using "modified" versions of the racquets they endorse.

Nice try anyway.

darrinbaker00
03-20-2011, 07:31 PM
What's the big deal? Michael Jackson admitted that he never drank Pepsi, but they paid him several boatloads of money anyway. As long as there has been advertising, there has been deceptive advertising.

RoddickAce
03-20-2011, 08:06 PM
Given that there was a harm/loss suffered by the consumer, I guess one could make a claim that the racquet companies are producing implicitly false advertisments.

They use statements such as "player ABC uses this racquet, this is ABC's signature racquet, this is ABC's official racquet, etc.", which in the context of professional tennis players, logically implies that player ABC uses this racquet as a main tool to make a living (play in tournaments).

So if the racquet used by the player is different than advertised, the advertisement would be implicitly false.

One could also argue that the racquet companies failed to disclose that the racquets were "modified", but the court will decide whether this is sufficiently material to constitute false advertisement.

Bobby Jr
03-20-2011, 11:46 PM
Nike was sued over the Ball Tiger Woods was using
The difference is in the marketing he said it was the ball he used - which was incorrect.

Racquet manufacturers usually don't make the association so clear-cut. They have a picture of the player - as they also do on children's racquets - but I don't often see them doing marketing which say: X player uses this racquet.

Online shops, such as tennis warehouse, often associate players with particular frames but that's not the brand's doing and I guess could see them accused of misleading marketing practices in some cases.

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 12:02 AM
Given that there was a harm/loss suffered by the consumer, I guess one could make a claim that the racquet companies are producing implicitly false advertisments.
What harm or loss? Willy nilly interpretations don't count here, only the long established legal concept (which does vary country to country but, those based loosely on the English legal system will be similar)

They use statements such as "player ABC uses this racquet, this is ABC's signature racquet, this is ABC's official racquet, etc.", which in the context of professional tennis players, logically implies that player ABC uses this racquet as a main tool to make a living (play in tournaments).
They do? Not many adverts say it as clearly as e.g.: Roger Federer uses the Wilson BLX Tour? Etc.. You'd be surprised how sneaky they are - they build an association by implication but often without saying it outright. I just watched a couple of their youtube ads (eg here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRlip2qeY-A)) and they don't say he uses the frame they're marketing.

Grant, the Wilson website does come quite close in saying "The choice of the greatest ever, Roger Federer, the Six.One Tour BLX features a unique enhanced feel...". But I'm still not sure that is a definitive call still. They will just say he uses a modified version, which he technically does depending how you look at it, and that'd be the end of it. If you knew how there's nothing stopping you modifying yours to be the same. (I'm sure many more people would take issue with Wilson claiming he's "the greatest ever" than the specs of his frame :p)

The signature part is irrelevant. Thousands of brands create signature models - the terms means nothing in a legal sense, it's nothing more than a marketing snare.

So if the racquet used by the player is different than advertised, the advertisement would be implicitly false

One could also argue that the racquet companies failed to disclose that the racquets were "modified"....
Since it's common knowledge that players customise frames it would certainly be hard to convince someone that there was significant enough deception, with a resulting loss or harm, to warrant legal remedy. Americans are famously and historically litigious over the most inane or petty things but even that has tired the legal system a little too much in recent years.
...but the court will decide whether this is sufficiently material to constitute false advertisement.
For sure. But they will decide that it isn't unless the advertising actually says X uses this model frame - which they generally don't. An associated endorsement doesn't establish or constitute a promise of identicalness and, using a 'reasonable person' test, a complaint along those lines would likely fail.

As I said above, I see racquets for kids with Sampras and Federer plastered over them. I don't assume anything by it other than a marketing effort.

vsbabolat
03-21-2011, 05:17 AM
The difference is in the marketing he said it was the ball he used - which was incorrect.

Racquet manufacturers usually don't make the association so clear-cut. They have a picture of the player - as they also do on children's racquets - but I don't often see them doing marketing which say: X player uses this racquet.

Online shops, such as tennis warehouse, often associate players with particular frames but that's not the brand's doing and I guess could see them accused of misleading marketing practices in some cases.

HEAD, Wilson, Prince, and the rest of the major brands do the same thing as what Nike did with Tiger Woods. They have used advertisements claiming player "x" uses racquet "y". When that is not true.

I have seen the racquet companies directly market the players as using a certain racquet model in advertisments.

Should I give some examples?

themitchmann
03-21-2011, 05:42 AM
HEAD, Wilson, Prince, and the rest of the major brands do the same thing as what Nike did with Tiger Woods. They have used advertisements claiming player "x" uses racquet "y". When that is not true.

I have seen the racquet companies directly market the players as using a certain racquet model in advertisments.

Should I give some examples?

You're absolutely right. I've seen the same thing.

li0scc0
03-21-2011, 06:02 AM
It is definitely deceptive. Djokovic was 'using' the Head Youtek Speed Pro, then 'switched' to the Head Youtek Speed MP 18x20. In both cases, Head stated he was using particular racquets. If he was not (which he most certainly was not), it is false advertising.
How often do we see the ads that state "Use the Racquet that Player A uses, the XXXX'.
No different than the Nike Tiger Woods fiasco.

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 06:16 AM
How often do we see the ads that state "Use the Racquet that Player A uses, the XXXX'.
No different than the Nike Tiger Woods fiasco.
It's not nearly as often as you think. I went into my club pro shop this evening (after my earlier post) and couldn't find a single frame out of Prince, Wilson, Babolat (they don't stock Head) which had marketing which claimed a player used it. Many of them however had a player's photo on it but none actually said they used it. This covered about 30-odd current models.

I'm sure it does happen but it's not as often as people's wishful memories think.

Go and look at the Babolat range sometime. 1/3 of their frames have a picture of Nadal on them. Really, how much traction do you think a complaint would get if a person said it implied he used all of them?

Seriously, this topic is less about marketing than it is the complaining nature of fanatics - 99% of whom would complain how much they hated an exact Federer or Murray frame if they were available to buy.

What next? Suing Nike because you don't look like Nadal when you wear his kit?

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 06:21 AM
I have seen the racquet companies directly market the players as using a certain racquet model in advertisments.
So have I. But how many of those actually say the player uses the specific frame model in question?

Association/endorsement of a brand generally implies nothing other than: our quality product are given the thumbs up by this connoisseur.

vsbabolat
03-21-2011, 06:33 AM
So have I. But how many of those actually say the player uses the specific frame model in question?

Association/endorsement of a brand generally implies nothing other than: our quality product are given the thumbs up by this connoisseur.

I have seen racket companies advertise specific rackets being used by specific players.

The irony is HEAD sued Dunlop for misleading consumers.

After ATP Tour player Marat Safin's sponsorship switched from Head to Dunlop in early '01, Head execs noticed Safin using "what it believed to be" its i.Prestige racquet with a Dunlop stencil on the strings last fall, according to TENNIS. Head filed a complaint with the district court in Munich, claiming the Dunlop logo "misled consumers into thinking Safin's racquet was a Dunlop." While an injunction was granted before the ATP's Masters Series in Stuttgart last October prohibiting the use of the logo in Germany, Head "hasn't taken any legal action in other countries." But Head "may do so if Dunlop and Safin continue to use the logo." Head VP/Marketing Kevin Kempin said that Dunlop "doesn't confirm or deny the racquet's make but contends that the logo is legal because Safin uses Dunlop strings" (Safin never used Dunlop strings. Just another lie by the racquet companies to try and justify their misleading business practices.)
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/1077491.jpg
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/vsbabolat/1081633.jpg
http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2002/01/Issue-84/Sponsorships-Advertising-Marketing/Head-Games-Safins-Choice-Of-Logo-On-Racquet-Questioned.aspx

naturallight
03-21-2011, 09:58 AM
I think if Babolat was worried about this, they could just have Rafa hit with a APDGT for 5 minutes and get his thoughts on it. He is "using" the racquet. He is giving his opinion on the racquet.

sureshs
03-21-2011, 10:02 AM
Why not file a lawsuit and see what happens?

PimpMyGame
03-21-2011, 10:14 AM
Why not file a lawsuit and see what happens?

Come on, you should know by now that posting something with such brevity and common sense is strictly forbidden on these boards...

petema99
03-21-2011, 11:31 AM
Maybe, like in the Tiger case, if someone sues they will bring out the PT630 etc again!!

:twisted:

billsgwn
03-21-2011, 11:55 AM
HEAD, Wilson, Prince, and the rest of the major brands do the same thing as what Nike did with Tiger Woods. They have used advertisements claiming player "x" uses racquet "y". When that is not true.

I have seen the racquet companies directly market the players as using a certain racquet model in advertisments.

Should I give some examples?


I agree. Theres no doubt the companies are deceiving the public and they will coninue to get away with it becaues of shadey lawyers who know how to manipulate the system.

JRstriker12
03-21-2011, 12:02 PM
Nike was sued over the Ball Tiger Woods was using.
[COLOR="Blue"]Woods does not use ball he promotes, admits sponsor
By Simon Davis in Los Angeles 12:00AM BST 24 Aug 2000
NIKE, the sports equipment company, has been forced to concede that Tiger Woods does not use the golf balls he is paid £694,000 a year to endorse.....

Hold on!?!?!

In talking about rackets on TW, I've often seen that golf has regulated it's clubs and tennis should do the same thing. BUT Tiger Woods has his own special ball??? WTF!?!?

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 02:46 PM
Hold on!?!?!

In talking about rackets on TW, I've often seen that golf has regulated it's clubs and tennis should do the same thing. BUT Tiger Woods has his own special ball??? WTF!?!?
Yes, and there are people out there who also think they can actually buy the same clubs Tiger uses as well. :lol:

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 03:18 PM
....Head filed a complaint with the district court in Munich, claiming the Dunlop logo "misled consumers into thinking Safin's racquet was a Dunlop." While an injunction was granted before the ATP's Masters Series in Stuttgart last October prohibiting the use of the logo in Germany, Head "hasn't taken any legal action in other countries."
This case can probably be distinguished in that it is a commercial case: one company feels it has incurred loss by the other using its technology or patented design.

A) Safin case: Company A complaining that company B is using goods made by company A and purporting them to be their own. Loss can be argued - either technology/patent.

B) Racquet brand vs consumer case: Company promotes frame which player endorses. Consumer model is different from the exact specs of the player's frame. Has loss occurred? Probably not.

People may feel aggrieved that they can't get the exact fame a pro uses but that in itself means exactly zero. The only thing that matters is how the frames you can buy are marketed. In most cases unfair deception couldn't even be established. Implications of quality/specs etc by association don't achieve that.

So... indulge me: Were there advertisements from that time-period where it explicitly said "Safin uses this frame" directly related to the one you could buy? If so, then why didn't Head use them as evidence them instead of complaining in the manner they did about Safin's actual frame?

Anyway... Do you know the result of the Safin case? Someone bringing a case in itself proves nothing really. Did anything come of it?

The Safin case read more like an effort by Head to market how good Head frames are - so good that even Dunlop players use them.

JRstriker12
03-21-2011, 03:36 PM
Yes, and there are people out there who also think they can actually buy the same clubs Tiger uses as well. :lol:

Sound likes like the "golf has regulated its technology" idea has gone out the window. Why play with a special, customized ball unless it's giving you and edge?

vsbabolat
03-21-2011, 03:43 PM
This case can probably be distinguished in that it is a commercial case: one company feels it has incurred loss by the other using its technology or patented design.

A) Safin case: Company A complaining that company B is using goods made by company A and purporting them to be their own. Loss can be argued - either technology/patent.

B) Racquet brand vs consumer case: Company promotes frame which player endorses. Consumer model is different from the exact specs of the player's frame. Has loss occurred? Probably not.

People may feel aggrieved that they can't get the exact fame a pro uses but that in itself means exactly zero. The only thing that matters is how the frames you can buy are marketed. In most cases unfair deception couldn't even be established. Implications of quality/specs etc by association don't achieve that.

So... indulge me: Were there advertisements from that time-period where it explicitly said "Safin uses this frame" directly related to the one you could buy? If so, then why didn't Head use them as evidence them instead of complaining in the manner they did about Safin's actual frame?

Anyway... Do you know the result of the Safin case? Someone bringing a case in itself proves nothing really. Did anything come of it?

The Safin case read more like an effort by Head to market how good Head frames are - so good that even Dunlop players use them.

Yes, I do know the result of the Safin case and why HEAD did it and you are off. HEAD did it because Safin left HEAD for Dunlop who was paying Safin more. HEAD sued when they had concrete proof that Safin was still using his Prestige CLASSIC 600. They sued to prevent Dunlop from marketing Safin. This lead to Dunlop dropping Safin and HEAD resigning Safin. HEAD did not sue on any copy right or technology grounds but sued on grounds that Dunlop "misled consumers into thinking Safin's racquet was a Dunlop."

And yes at the time Safin was specifically marked as using the MuscleWeave 200G.

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 04:07 PM
Yes, I do know the result of the Safin case and why HEAD did it and you are off. HEAD did it because Safin left HEAD for Dunlop who was paying Safin more. HEAD sued when they had concrete proof that Safin was still using his Prestige CLASSIC 600. They sued to prevent Dunlop from marketing Safin.
What is the result of the Safin case then? That's why I asked and you still haven't said what it was. WHY they did it is obvious - what was the outcome over the attempts at legal remedy in the link you posted?

When you says they "sued to prevent Dunlop from marketing Safin" do you mean they sued because there was some breach of an existing contract they had with Safin? Or because of the racquet deception which they think harmed their company? I assume it is the latter - in which case it is a commercial law issue.

The basics
- A legitimately signed sponsorship deal is no business of anyone other than the parties involved. That's a given.
- Head say Safin is using their frame painted as a Dunlop. Still no issue here inherently (use-wise) since he could buy the Head frames in a shop and do whatever the **** he liked with them. As can anyone.
- The marketing however is where it gets blurry. The print/TV marketing no doubt shows Safin using an actual Dunlop frame right? (surely they're not stupid enough to have him using a PJed Head in their marketing)
- So the remaining issue is that Safin actually uses a Head frame and which Head says Dunlop is being deceptive about and receiving commercial gain for it.

= Commercial issue.

Head's practical option for remedy (since no actual loss can be shown) is: embarrassing Dunlop by bringing the issue into the news - basically saying that Head frames are that good that even Dunlop's sponsored players prefer to use them.

This is exactly what Head did. That is the biggest king-hit win a racquet brand could ever hope for. It not only makes a mockery of the competition but is also newsworthy, earning them free coverage they don't have to pay for. The best grass-roots marketing imaginable. And that's what they always intended it to be.

Dunlop tries to counter by saying: we're not pretending anything - he uses Dunlop strings (even if he actually wasn't). Whether or not consumers are convinced or even care is open to debate. Still, no loss is established yet here by Head.

This lead to Dunlop dropping Safin and HEAD resigning Safin. HEAD did not sue on any copy right or technology grounds but sued on grounds that Dunlop "misled consumers into thinking Safin's racquet was a Dunlop."
This is being conveniently economical with the reality of the situation. According to everything I saw (or could find now) it was about Dunlop being sick of Safin's antics and breaches of their contract including a couple of instances of his covering up their logo. I can't find nor recall any relationship here with Head's complaints about Safin using their frames. One ref (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/atptour/3026602/Dunlop-drop-racket-deal-with-Safin.html)

It seems like Safin signed with Dunlop and they couldn't make a frame he liked so he kept using PJed Heads. After a few more iterations of Dunlop attempting to make a frame he could/would use use they eventually got sick of him and his antics and decided to part ways.

-------
Now, setting this all aside... I can see where you're coming from but what seems or is actually unethical or deceptive doesn't necessarily make for a legal case - in fact that's usually why well-intentioned but poorly considered cases fail. So, let's just assume for a second the details of the current topic, someone took enough issue with what they saw as deceptive marketing it, took it to court and were also successful. What would be the likely resulting remedy?

Simple: the racquet manufacturers would be told to say sorry and change their advertising. That would be the end of it. There really is no grounds for damages or to force the manufacturer to make a custom pro frame available to all, notwithstanding courts don't bother demanding impractical remedies simply because they don't work. (Esp because, unlike golf balls which are easy to make in bulk, specialised high-spec tennis racquets are not)

Basically it's making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

RoddickAce
03-21-2011, 06:50 PM
What harm or loss?

What I meant was that only (I know I didn't say only in my earlier post) given that there was a loss or harm would there grounds for a case. Otherwise, yes, we can just end it at "there was no harm/loss", but that would be no fun :).


Grant, the Wilson website does come quite close in saying "The choice of the greatest ever, Roger Federer, the Six.One Tour BLX features a unique enhanced feel...". But I'm still not sure that is a definitive call still. They will just say he uses a modified version, which he technically does depending how you look at it, and that'd be the end of it...(I'm sure many more people would take issue with Wilson claiming he's "the greatest ever" than the specs of his frame :p)

LOL! That bolded part is very true:), but anyway...

I always get annoying emails from Wilson saying something like "Federer, using his BLX tour 90, won...Del Potro swung his BLX to reach the QF.., etc.", which do in fact specify that certain players used certain racquets in tournaments. However, the keyword here is the word "his" or "her" racquet, which can imply a modification.

There are also ads like this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmIIjAsLovQ , in which Nadal is asked how his game was affected by the new "cortex" technology, which Nadal doesn't actually use. They don't say directly say that he uses the racquet, but right now I am attempting to prove an implictly false advertisement was made.

Using the reasonable person test, as you cited, would the above advertisement be an implicitly false ad? By asking whether or not a "new Aero Pro Drive Cortex" designed for "me"(Nadal), affects Nadal's game, would a reasonable person assume that Nadal is using this new racquet?

In my opinion, the strength of the claim would depend on the extent of the modification and the explicitness of the wording used in the advtisement. There are players that use completely different racquets, with a paintjob of the advertised racquet. In this case, the player's racquet is, in substance, different from what is advertised.

Using parallel logic (a bit of stretch I know), the above situation is comparable to Honda advertising that a pro F1 driver used "his" honda Civic, defined by the paintjob, to win F1 races but actually drives a real F1 car with the Honda Civic paintjob.

As I said above, I see racquets for kids with Sampras and Federer plastered over them. I don't assume anything by it other than a marketing effort.

This is true but the difference is that Wilson would never say that Federer uses those $20 Walmart juniour sticks, nor is Federer shown hitting with it or asked how the racquet affects his game.

My opinion is that there may be grounds (given that a harm/loss was incurred), theoretically, to establish a case, but proving the case would be extremely difficult.

vsbabolat
03-21-2011, 07:17 PM
What is the result of the Safin case then? That's why I asked and you still haven't said what it was. WHY they did it is obvious - what was the outcome over the attempts at legal remedy in the link you posted?

When you says they "sued to prevent Dunlop from marketing Safin" do you mean they sued because there was some breach of an existing contract they had with Safin? Or because of the racquet deception which they think harmed their company? I assume it is the latter - in which case it is a commercial law issue.

The basics
- A legitimately signed sponsorship deal is no business of anyone other than the parties involved. That's a given.
- Head say Safin is using their frame painted as a Dunlop. Still no issue here inherently (use-wise) since he could buy the Head frames in a shop and do whatever the **** he liked with them. As can anyone.
- The marketing however is where it gets blurry. The print/TV marketing no doubt shows Safin using an actual Dunlop frame right? (surely they're not stupid enough to have him using a PJed Head in their marketing)
- So the remaining issue is that Safin actually uses a Head frame and which Head says Dunlop is being deceptive about and receiving commercial gain for it.

= Commercial issue.

Head's practical option for remedy (since no actual loss can be shown) is: embarrassing Dunlop by bringing the issue into the news - basically saying that Head frames are that good that even Dunlop's sponsored players prefer to use them.

This is exactly what Head did. That is the biggest king-hit win a racquet brand could ever hope for. It not only makes a mockery of the competition but is also newsworthy, earning them free coverage they don't have to pay for. The best grass-roots marketing imaginable. And that's what they always intended it to be.

Dunlop tries to counter by saying: we're not pretending anything - he uses Dunlop strings (even if he actually wasn't). Whether or not consumers are convinced or even care is open to debate. Still, no loss is established yet here by Head.


This is being conveniently economical with the reality of the situation. According to everything I saw (or could find now) it was about Dunlop being sick of Safin's antics and breaches of their contract including a couple of instances of his covering up their logo. I can't find nor recall any relationship here with Head's complaints about Safin using their frames. One ref (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/atptour/3026602/Dunlop-drop-racket-deal-with-Safin.html)

It seems like Safin signed with Dunlop and they couldn't make a frame he liked so he kept using PJed Heads. After a few more iterations of Dunlop attempting to make a frame he could/would use use they eventually got sick of him and his antics and decided to part ways.

-------
Now, setting this all aside... I can see where you're coming from but what seems or is actually unethical or deceptive doesn't necessarily make for a legal case - in fact that's usually why well-intentioned but poorly considered cases fail. So, let's just assume for a second the details of the current topic, someone took enough issue with what they saw as deceptive marketing it, took it to court and were also successful. What would be the likely resulting remedy?

Simple: the racquet manufacturers would be told to say sorry and change their advertising. That would be the end of it. There really is no grounds for damages or to force the manufacturer to make a custom pro frame available to all, notwithstanding courts don't bother demanding impractical remedies simply because they don't work. (Esp because, unlike golf balls which are easy to make in bulk, specialised high-spec tennis racquets are not)

Basically it's making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

My own opinion is HEAD filed the lawsuit to force Safin to come back to HEAD. Which is what happened. It was that simple. HEAD was successful in getting a injunction. If the case had no merit the Judge would have not even entertained a injunction. Once Safin re-signed with HEAD the lawsuit magically went away. Just like in the Tiger Woods case. Once the golf balls that Tiger was using became available to the consumer the lawsuit also magically went away. Funny how that works........

So my point was that HEAD sued Dunlop for misleading the consumer (That is a fact). http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2002/01/Issue-84/Sponsorships-Advertising-Marketing/Head-Games-Safins-Choice-Of-Logo-On-Racquet-Questioned.aspx
It was done to prevent the Prestige Classic 600 from being painted like a Dunlop. Several months later magically Safin re-signs with HEAD. Was not attempt to embarrass Dunlop

P.S. It is actually cheaper to manufacture the Pro's frames than the retail ones. But that is a story for another day..........

Fuji
03-21-2011, 07:33 PM
What about prostock rackets? I've seen some pictures of a Roddick Prostock Racket/ Roddicks actual stick, and his cortex is just painted on. Could Babolat be sued for false advertising because of Roddick's Pure Drive having Cortex for the stock, and painted on cortex for the PS? Roddick has an actual "Signature" racket, and the one he uses, is not the same as the one he endorses. Just some food for thought. :)

-Fuji

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 08:01 PM
My own opinion is HEAD filed the lawsuit to force Safin to come back to HEAD. Which is what happened. It was that simple. HEAD was successful in getting a injunction.
If that was the case then it meant Safin had an existing contract with Head which he breached. I don't what deals he did with who but it is certain that, unless that original agreement existed, it could not happen.

If the case had no merit the Judge would have not even entertained a injunction.
On the point about the contract you may be right but, as I said, without knowing what their arrangements were it's hard to tell. I can't find any evidence that he was forced to go back to Head. Maybe it was a completely new deal which came about by his leaving for Dunlop as a way to force/encourage Head to up their offer.

Once Safin re-signed with HEAD the lawsuit magically went away.
Again, assuming the above is true then it makes sense correct. But that's only assuming the above.

I think you are getting the boundaries of legal concepts a little blurred. The two areas we're discussing here are distinct from each other. Contractual obligations are a whole different area of law to deceptive/misleading marketing - with no overlap. And these even vary legal system to legal system. Germany, for example, has laws more related to English-heritage Common Law which (like Australia, NZ, Canada etc) are more rooted in valuing precedents set in similar cases. America does this somewhat also but is the odd-one out here in allowing all manner of mind-boggling and deliberately frivolous stupidity to exist with no boundaries other than the imagination, determination and funds of the person pursuing a notion.

Just like in the Tiger Woods case. Once the golf balls that Tiger was using became available to the consumer the lawsuit also magically went away. Funny how that works........
The Tiger Woods case is a completely different area of law. It was only about misleading practices, not about contractual obligations as the Head/Safin case was supposedly about. (and which sound pretty likely given how oddball Safin could be). As I said above, I think the Woods/Nike case was a little more clear-cut because they were so explicit in their statements.

So my point was that HEAD sued Dunlop for misleading the consumer (That is a fact).
Now you are back onto the point of the thread - misleading marketing.

It was done to prevent the Prestige Classic 600 from being painted like a Dunlop. Several months later magically Safin re-signs with HEAD. Was not attempt to embarrass Dunlop
But embarrassing Dunlop was the primary outcome and one which made Head look even better as it let consumers know, as I said, that Head is so good that even people supposedly using something else still use their frames.

That was a huge win for Head. And perhaps too for Safin because it got him back at the table with Head who, I assume, made some concessions to have him back (more money perhaps). Either that or he simply was desperate for a frame he could play with and they were the only option.

P.S. It is actually cheaper to manufacture the Pro's frames than the retail ones. But that is a story for another day..........
It is? Tell me more. I always thought (custom) pro frames would be made in smaller runs, often using non-standard mixes of materials and with more uniformity in weight/balance/characteristics. Surely that alone would indicate that they would cost more to produce per unit. I'm not an expert on composite fabrication but there is usually a direct correlation between increasing specificity/quality and cost in other areas of manufacturing.

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 08:23 PM
...nor is Federer shown hitting with it or asked how the racquet affects his game.
I agree with most of your post but this part here is an issue which is worth mentioning.

Showing someone simply playing with a frame - even in an advert - doesn't constitute a "promise" unless it is also explicitly stated what it is and that they use it. Implication is the weapon of much of marketing - it creates enough of a link but not a definitive one.

There certainly is a line which some companies will have crossed but, I imagine they could then defend it with: when we made the advert he was using the actual model you can buy... but later on decided he needed to make a few adjustments and...
...And then away you go.

Were they being misleading? It's hard to argue they were in any sense which would warrant taking them to court. Sure, a detail-oriented person from a tennis board such as here might feel slighted by this sort of deception, but I don't think it'll get much traction in legal avenues.

vsbabolat
03-21-2011, 08:39 PM
If that was the case then it meant Safin had an existing contract with Head which he breached. I don't what deals he did with who but it is certain that, unless that original agreement existed, it could not happen.
Once again you missed my point. The lawsuit under the guise of the the misleading the the consumer would force Safin to choose to actually switch racquets or come back to HEAD. Which was the effect. The lawsuit caused enough pain to make Safin and Dunlop end their relationship. Because when it came down to it Safin would not switch to a Dunlop.

You are mixing up legal concepts which are distinct from each other. Contractual obligations are a whole different area to deceptive marketing - with no overlap.
You missed my point again. I was purely talking about the merits that HEAD used to sue Dunlop on Misleading the Consumer. In my very lowly opinion it was a tactic purely used to cause pain for Safin and Dunlop.

On the point about the contract you may be right but, as I said, without knowing what their arrangements were it's hard to tell. I can't find any evidence that he was forced to go back to Head. Maybe it was a completely new deal which came about by his leaving for Dunlop as a way to force/encourage Head to up their offer.
Again, assuming the above is true then it makes sense correct. But that's only assuming the above.

I say Safin was forced to go back to HEAD because once the pain caused the split between Dunlop and Safin he had no choice. He only felt comfortable with the Prestige Classic 600. There is only one company and one factory in the world that can produce those sticks. So what choices did he have?



The Tiger Woods case is a completely different area of law. It's about misleading practices, not about contractual obligations as the Head/Safin case was supposedly about. (and which sound pretty likely given how oddball Safin could be)
Both the Tiger Wood Lawsuit and the Dunlop/Safin Lawsuit were both about misleading the consumer. You are confusing the motivation of the of the individuals for the filing of the lawsuit. One was to get the Ball to the consumer the other was to cause pain.


Now you are back onto the point of the thread - misleading marketing.


But embarrassing Dunlop was the primary outcome and one which made Head look even better as it let consumers know, as I said, that Head is so good even people supposedly using something else still use it.

That was a huge win for Head. And perhaps too for Safin because it got him back at the table with Head who, I assume, made some concessions to have him back (more money perhaps).

Safin was getting $1Million a year from Dunlop. It was reported at that time in 2002 that Safin ended up getting paid less than that from HEAD.


It is? I thought they were made in smaller runs, often using non-standard mixes of materials and with more uniformity in weight/balance/characteristics. Surely that alone would indicate that that would cost more to produce per unit. I'm not an expert on composite fabrication but there is usually a correlation between increasing specificity/quality and cost in other areas of manufacturing.

Weight and balance are added after manufacture for the individual player. Also I have never seen a difference in quality. The raw materials come from the same supply chain. But I have derailed this thread enough. I will just leave you with this: Clearly it's not a great strategy to deceive the public.

Bobby Jr
03-21-2011, 08:57 PM
Once again you missed my point. The lawsuit under the guise of the the misleading the...
Fair call on all of that. I see where you're coming from, just don't think it played out so neatly.


Weight and balance are added after manufacture for the individual player. Also I have never seen a difference in quality. The raw materials come from the same supply chain.
Regardless of when the weight was added how would be hey cheaper to produce? Also - I thought some suspected Federer's frames to have slightly different layup to the original K90. That aside they were drilled differently to the retail model and now are also painted as another model. This surely makes them more expensive to produce than the supposed retail frame?

Clearly it's not a great strategy to deceive the public.
Agree. But it seems most racquet companies do it so it must be good for the bank balance in some way. They wouldn't do it otherwise.

eidolonshinobi
03-21-2011, 10:43 PM
This thread just makes me sad to think that I can never have quality racquets from corporate companies.

Makes me want to spend some money on vantage customs.

vsbabolat
03-22-2011, 04:43 AM
This thread just makes me sad to think that I can never have quality racquets from corporate companies.

Makes me want to spend some money on vantage customs.

You do have very high quality racquets that you can buy!

vsbabolat
03-22-2011, 04:48 AM
Regardless of when the weight was added how would be hey cheaper to produce? Also - I thought some suspected Federer's frames to have slightly different layup to the original K90. That aside they were drilled differently to the retail model and now are also painted as another model. This surely makes them more expensive to produce than the supposed retail frame?




People believe that the K90 is the closest you can buy the the Fed frame. Also the Fed frame and the retail have had the same drill pattern since the K90 and there was a S.E. of the N90 that had the same drill pattern as Fed's.

I have derailed this thread enough.

DAS2011
03-23-2011, 03:48 AM
The difference is in the marketing he said it was the ball he used - which was incorrect.

Racquet manufacturers usually don't make the association so clear-cut. They have a picture of the player - as they also do on children's racquets - but I don't often see them doing marketing which say: X player uses this racquet.

Online shops, such as tennis warehouse, often associate players with particular frames but that's not the brand's doing and I guess could see them accused of misleading marketing practices in some cases.

So have I. But how many of those actually say the player uses the specific frame model in question?

Association/endorsement of a brand generally implies nothing other than: our quality product are given the thumbs up by this connoisseur.


Wow I had never even noticed this, but you are absolutely correct. I checked the Prince website, and no where does it say: "David Ferrer uses the Prince EXO3 Tour". It simply has a photo of him on the Tour's page. It was I, the consumer, who made the assumption. Marketing is a powerful thing, really!

And now, thinking back, I even remember this from Wilson's old commercials for the K90: "This is Roger Federer. This is his K.Six.One." That does't specify that he used a K90 in actual matches, it simply stated that he owned one. Even with Federer's signature on the frame, there is no legal traction there. These guys have obviously thought these things out...

I mean, I am not mad, because I didn't choose any frames I have ever played with based on the Pros who endorse it. And I don't really understand how a serious player could be mad since it is unlikely that a pro's exact frame will improve your game anyway.

West Coast Ace
03-27-2011, 06:30 PM
There are enough lawyers who play tennis that if this case did have merit it would have been brought already.

Everyone customizes their racket. I'm sure the defense lawyers would say "Do you put on an overgrip? A dampener? Lead tape? Do you get your strings strung at a specific tension? And you do all that to, hopefully, play your best. Why do you think doing exactly what Fed/Rafa/etc. does would improve your play?"

Additionally, racket vendors make different rackets for different levels of play. The pros whose pics are on that advertising aren't stating they use them - their putting their reputation behind them - e.g. 'Fed believes this entry level Wilson racket is a fine stick for the weekend hacker.'

vsbabolat
03-27-2011, 06:44 PM
There are enough lawyers who play tennis that if this case did have merit it would have been brought already.

Everyone customizes their racket. I'm sure the defense lawyers would say "Do you put on an overgrip? A dampener? Lead tape? Do you get your strings strung at a specific tension? And you do all that to, hopefully, play your best. Why do you think doing exactly what Fed/Rafa/etc. does would improve your play?"


We are talking about paint jobs: taking a old or custom made (Mold and layup) racquet not availabe for sale to the consumer. Not about custmizing a racquet by overgrip, lead tape , or dampener.

HEAD racquet rebel Novak Djokovic has returned to the world No. 2 ranking thanks to another standout performance as the Serb won the ATP 1000 BNP Paribas Open Masters title in Indian Wells over Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic improved his record to an impressive 18-0 this season on the ATP world tour with trophies at Indian Wells, Dubai and the Australian Open and remains unbeaten since he has switched to his new HEAD YouTek IG SPEED MP 18/20 racquet. Djokovic's win followed his semi-final knockout of No. 2 Roger Federer, whom the HEAD player has now replaced in the ATP rankings.
http://www.head.com/tennis/news.php?region=eu&id=995

This is a out right lie. He is has not switched anything except the paint. This is clearly misleading the consumer.

West Coast Ace
03-27-2011, 07:01 PM
This is a out right lie. He is has not switched anything except the paint. This is clearly misleading the consumer.Head would counter that the rackets are derivatives of each other.

Another thing to consider: where is the loss (which is what a judgement would be based on)? It is weaselly (I don't like Sales/Marketing people either), but overselling/embellishing products is common. You wanted a good racket and you got one. If they said "you'll make the ATP tour if you use the racket Joker does" you'd have some claim. Similar to a car dealer telling you a Hummer would get 35 mpg.

If you think you have a case, call a lawyer. Like I said, plenty of lawyers know tennis. If there were a case, they'd have filed by now given the amount of money in yearly sales.

vsbabolat
03-27-2011, 07:10 PM
Head would counter that the rackets are derivatives of each other.

Another thing to consider: where is the loss (which is what a judgement would be based on)? It is weaselly (I don't like Sales/Marketing people either), but overselling/embellishing products is common. You wanted a good racket and you got one. If they said "you'll make the ATP tour if you use the racket Joker does" you'd have some claim. Similar to a car dealer telling you a Hummer would get 35 mpg.

If you think you have a case, call a lawyer. Like I said, plenty of lawyers know tennis. If there were a case, they'd have filed by now given the amount of money in yearly sales.

The Joker's racquet has nothing to do with what is sold. Different head size, different head shape, different mold, and different composition.

There have been cases. One is the Tiger Woods golf ball case that was dropped when Nike agreed to sell Tiger's actual ball and the HEAD case against Dunlop about safin's frames while with Dunlop. HEAD had even got a injunction before the case was resolved.

dirtballer
03-28-2011, 04:26 AM
The Tennis Channel now does an equipment profile where they list the racket, shoes, and clothing the player supposedly uses. I assume TTC is getting money from the companies to display these profiles. If they would say the player uses a "customized" or "modified" whatever, I could accept it.

Gasolina
03-28-2011, 07:08 AM
The Tennis Channel now does an equipment profile where they list the racket, shoes, and clothing the player supposedly uses. I assume TTC is getting money from the companies to display these profiles. If they would say the player uses a "customized" or "modified" whatever, I could accept it.
That's not even the case. I could say I use a customized Yonex RQiS just because I put lead tape on it. The fact of the matter is, "I" still used the RQiS and felt it needed some tweaking.

It's different from Head saying Novak "used" the "customized" IG Speed when its an entirely different racquet.

Anyway, its a lost cause. Racquet companies won't get charged for this.

The only one who loses is Mr. 3.5 Joe who thinks getting a BLX Tour will make his game better.

Nuke
03-28-2011, 07:16 AM
And Jeff Gordon drives a Chevy Monte Carlo:

http://blog.newsok.com/bamsblog/files/2008/08/iao-jeff-gordon-car-2.jpg

vsbabolat
03-28-2011, 07:26 AM
And Jeff Gordon drives a Chevy Monte Carlo:

http://blog.newsok.com/bamsblog/files/2008/08/iao-jeff-gordon-car-2.jpg

Stock car racing and tennis is not even comparable.....

With Tennis when talking about amateurs and the Tour we all use the same tennis balls, we all play on the same size tennis courts (within the lines). When the Babolat Aero ProDrive first came out it was the SAME as Nadal's. Now it is not. Why you say. Simple because of marketing. With Stock car it is not even comparable.

Power Player
03-28-2011, 08:12 AM
Most people could not handle pro frames anyway unless they played about everyday for years. A swingweight of 355 is awesome if you are real big and play 2-3 hours a day.

Imagine lower level players trying to play with Soderling's "prestige". They would hate it. It's tough enough for many players to use the retail prestige, which is fine for most d1 level collegiate players.

vsbabolat
03-28-2011, 08:32 AM
Most people could not handle pro frames anyway unless they played about everyday for years. A swingweight of 355 is awesome if you are real big and play 2-3 hours a day.

Imagine lower level players trying to play with Soderling's "prestige". They would hate it. It's tough enough for many players to use the retail prestige, which is fine for most d1 level collegiate players.

People did use Soderlings "Prestige" it was called the Pro Tour 630 when it was sold and marketed to the public. We are not talking about the weight balance, and swing weight of the pros. But the mold and composition of their frames.

Power Player
03-28-2011, 08:50 AM
Yes, that is true. I guess I was focusing on the specs from the convo.

But like you said, anyone could have bought Nadal's APD at a store, and still can on the bay. And many other frames pros use are retail, just specced out differently.

ollinger
03-28-2011, 09:54 AM
Nuke makes a fair point about NASCAR. What NASCAR allows to be called a Monte Carlo is a tubular framed, fully fabricated machine that has as much to do with a Monte Carlo as a funny car dragster does. But the point, relevant to the discussion, is that if the car driven by Jeff Gordon is made by Chevy or its contractors, or if the racquet used by Joker is made by Head, the courts generally consider that sufficient to allow a product endorsement. My understanding of the Tiger Woods issue is that there was much question at one time as to whether his equipment, clubs or balls, were actually made by Nike. Likewise the Safin affair where it involved a product not actually made by the company being endorsed.

vsbabolat
03-28-2011, 10:40 AM
Nuke makes a fair point about NASCAR. What NASCAR allows to be called a Monte Carlo is a tubular framed, fully fabricated machine that has as much to do with a Monte Carlo as a funny car dragster does. But the point, relevant to the discussion, is that if the car driven by Jeff Gordon is made by Chevy or its contractors, or if the racquet used by Joker is made by Head, the courts generally consider that sufficient to allow a product endorsement. My understanding of the Tiger Woods issue is that there was much question at one time as to whether his equipment, clubs or balls, were actually made by Nike. Likewise the Safin affair where it involved a product not actually made by the company being endorsed.

There were two situations with the Tiger Woods Ball. One was that he was still using the Titlist. The second situation was the Custom ball that Nike had made after the Titleist Ball Law suit.

This is the Lawsuit I am talking about:
Woods does not use ball he promotes, admits sponsor
By Simon Davis in Los Angeles 12:00AM BST 24 Aug 2000
NIKE, the sports equipment company, has been forced to concede that Tiger Woods does not use the golf balls he is paid £694,000 a year to endorse.

After a consumer group filed a lawsuit in a California court, Nike has admitted that amateur golfers could not buy the same balls as their championship-winning hero.
Woods receives the money to endorse the Nike Tour Accuracy, which has quickly become a best-seller, but he has used a unique and specially modified ball in his recent run of victories in the majors.

"Tiger Woods does not play the Nike Tour Accuracy golf ball, but plays one with a different composition and performance characteristics specially made for him and not available to the general public," the plaintiffs said in their law suit.
The Woods-endorsed ball is heavily promoted in television and magazine advertisements. But it has an extra hard shell and inner segment to make it tougher and enable him to hit further. "Those two elements are slightly firmer than the marketed ball," said Mike Kelly, marketing director for Nike Golf

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/story?id=100737&page=1
Woods Uses, Endorses Different Golf Balls
Tiger Woods Doesn’t Use
the Balls He Endorses

Shortly after being sued by a nonprofit consumer action group for unfair business practices, Nike admitted the golf ball Tiger Woods uses on the links is not the same one he endorses for the company.
Woods endorses the Nike Tour Accuracy golf balls in print and TV ads. But Mike Kelly, marketing director of Nike Golf, admitted Tuesday the world’s No. 1 player uses a custom-made ball with a harder inner and outer core that produces drives of 300 yards or more. That ball is not available to everyday duffers.

Nike’s admission came after the company was sued in federal court in San Francisco. The group Public Remedies filed the suit on Tuesday claiming, in essence, that Nike has dropped the ball on truth in advertising.
Common Practice?

The group accuses Nike of unfair business practices by misleading the public into believing the Nike ball they’re buying is the same one Woods uses. Woods, who used to endorse Titleist balls, has won three straight majors this year.

The Nike Tour Accuracy balls can cost $4 or more each, and the nonprofit group wants Nike to return money to the public.

Kelly contends slight equipment changes for a pro are common in the industry. He calls them minor specification changes — not just to balls, but to irons and putters, as well. However, other golf companies say they sell the same products their endorsing players use.

Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, didn’t return a call requesting comment.

Making the Switch

After using and endorsing Titleist balls since turning professional in 1996, Woods this year ended that endorsement deal to instead become a pitchman for Nike’s Tour Accuracy balls. He has used the Nike ball since May and formally made the equipment switch two weeks before the U.S. Open in June.

Nike executives said in July that sales of Nike’s golf ball jumped immediately after Woods won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 shots. Woods went on to win the British Open in July and the PGA Championship last weekend.

When Nike said they would sell the same ball that Tiger uses the lawsuit magically went away........

ollinger
03-28-2011, 12:59 PM
Do we believe Nike when it says you can buy the ball Tiger uses, but not Head when it says you can buy the racquet Joker uses? Paging P.T. Barnum.....

Gasolina
03-28-2011, 01:28 PM
Do we believe Nike when it says you can buy the ball Tiger uses, but not Head when it says you can buy the racquet Joker uses? Paging P.T. Barnum.....
Good point. The mere fact that Nike said that the Tiger ball was constructed with a harder core or whatever enabled Tiger to hit farther. No concrete "damage or distress" was caused to consumers in this case. In theory the harder golf ball would even make it harder for less stronger golfers to hit. The case was just around the fact that Nike has been deceiving people.

It would be funny if let's say Babolat came back and said "Oh no we're not deceiving you guys, the retail Aero Pro is just the same as what Rafa is using. We've just repainted it differently and slapped the word cortex in there so you'd buy them off the shelves again"

ollinger
03-28-2011, 01:47 PM
Beyond that, I'd be stunned if Tiger's balls weren't checked (easy, r2!) particularly carefully for trueness and closeness of tolerances, even if they were otherwise what is being sold to the public. Customers really get nuts over this stuff; a guy posted on TTW once fretting about whether the Federer shirt he was buying from Nike was exactly the same as what Roger wears, or were Fed's custom tailored.

pug
03-28-2011, 08:25 PM
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6221969


Go to 35:30 and have a listen.

An answer but not really. It's all about the $$$.

Bobby Jr
03-29-2011, 12:50 AM
Stock car racing and tennis is not even comparable......
Yeah, was going to say also.

But then again, why is it not considered the same sort of deception? Because to you it's obvious they're not the same car? The line gets grey somewhere between there and the Tiger Woods Nike ball thing I agree.

As I said in a number of posts on this topic a few pages back though the issue of Safin's frame and lawsuit you mentioned between Head and Dunlop is a distinct issue from marketing a frame. They're different areas of law - the marketing side of frames to the public didn't have play the major part, it was Head pointing out the absurdity of the endorsement. It was no doubt a case of Head being cheesed-off at Dunlop making hay out what they saw as their product. But the deception to the public was not a clear marketing deception - playing with a frame alone constitutes no marketing promise whatsoever anymore than Tiger Woods wearing a red shirt somehow promises wearing a red shirt will make you play better.

I accept you said you recall advertising where it explicitly stated "X player uses this frame" but for the life of my I cannot find an advert for a frame which makes such a clear-cut claim. So, perhaps, that incident made racquet companies clean up the grey area of endorsement to make sure they are always ambiguous enough to avoid any flippant lawsuits.

As I said last week I went into a pro-shop with many dozens of frames and not a single one had on it anything which I would consider a claim of use of that model. Many however had pictures of Federer, Nadal, the Bryan Brothers etc. I've also since looked at some ads online and still can't find anything which looks misleading enough to warrant a merited complaint. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen though when a player actually does use a stock model, or that deliberately misleading associations didn't use to be common.

With Tennis when talking about amateurs and the Tour we all use the same tennis balls
Actually, this is not the case always. At some tournaments the balls are different spec - either passed through better quality control than the general release balls or are marked differently. That doesn't mean people will line up to cry foul when they buy balls which have "Official US Open ball" or whatever written on them.

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 05:59 AM
Actually, this is not the case always. At some tournaments the balls are different spec - either passed through better quality control than the general release balls or are marked differently. That doesn't mean people will line up to cry foul when they buy balls which have "Official US Open ball" or whatever written on them.

I have hit with the actual balls used at the US Open. They are the same balls you can buy. The women use championship balls and the men use extra duty. My club where I play at orders balls with their logo on it. So by your rational because they are marked differently they are not the same as you can buy.

Bobby Jr
03-29-2011, 06:23 AM
I have hit with the actual balls used at the US Open. The women use championship balls and the men use extra duty. My club where I play at orders balls with their logo on it. So by your rational because they are marked differently they are not the same as you can buy.
How can you show they are? How do we know you have the ability to spot the slight differences? How different is different enough? 1%? 0.5%? Who decides when something has varies enough from the expected product for it to be called different?

Perhaps you've accepted their marketing line as truth and the actual US Open balls are slightly different or of higher quality? (maybe even selected off the same production line for weight/diameter consistency reasons)

But....... in the real world of course a different paint job on a ball makes no difference. I couldn't actually claim in seriousness that it does. But that is not evidence in itself that they aren't different, nor are the marketing claims (official US Open ball) since we've been led to believe the tennis market is full of regularly misleading advertising - Fed's Nike shoes, Nadal's strings etc.

Seriously, there is without doubt a great reason that no-one has taken racquet companies to task over this. Because it has basically no merit except in the eyes of die-hard detail nazis. Thankfully these people don't dictate how laws are interpreted.

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 07:11 AM
How can you show they are? How do we know you have the ability to spot the slight differences? How different is different enough? 1%? 0.5%? Who decides when something has varies enough from the expected product for it to be called different?

Perhaps you've accepted their marketing line as truth and the actual US Open balls are slightly different or of higher quality? (maybe even selected off the same production line for weight/diameter consistency reasons)

But....... in the real world of course a different paint job on a ball makes no difference. I couldn't actually claim in seriousness that it does. But that is not evidence in itself that they aren't different, nor are the marketing claims (official US Open ball) since we've been led to believe the tennis market is full of regularly misleading advertising - Fed's Nike shoes, Nadal's strings etc.

Seriously, there is without doubt a great reason that no-one has taken racquet companies to task over this. Because it has basically no merit except in the eyes of die-hard detail nazis. Thankfully these people don't dictate how laws are interpreted.

Let me try this again: I have hit, used, played with BOTH the balls that are actually used in the U.S. Open and the balls that are sold at the retail level. There is no difference in performance of these balls. They are the same balls. I don't know why I have to debate with you over everything? I do have different experinces than you. I know, it is very shocking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 07:16 AM
Yeah, was going to say also.

But then again, why is it not considered the same sort of deception? Because to you it's obvious they're not the same car? The line gets grey somewhere between there and the Tiger Woods Nike ball thing I agree.

As I said in a number of posts on this topic a few pages back though the issue of Safin's frame and lawsuit you mentioned between Head and Dunlop is a distinct issue from marketing a frame. They're different areas of law - the marketing side of frames to the public didn't have play the major part, it was Head pointing out the absurdity of the endorsement. It was no doubt a case of Head being cheesed-off at Dunlop making hay out what they saw as their product. But the deception to the public was not a clear marketing deception - playing with a frame alone constitutes no marketing promise whatsoever anymore than Tiger Woods wearing a red shirt somehow promises wearing a red shirt will make you play better.

I accept you said you recall advertising where it explicitly stated "X player uses this frame" but for the life of my I cannot find an advert for a frame which makes such a clear-cut claim. So, perhaps, that incident made racquet companies clean up the grey area of endorsement to make sure they are always ambiguous enough to avoid any flippant lawsuits.

As I said last week I went into a pro-shop with many dozens of frames and not a single one had on it anything which I would consider a claim of use of that model. Many however had pictures of Federer, Nadal, the Bryan Brothers etc. I've also since looked at some ads online and still can't find anything which looks misleading enough to warrant a merited complaint. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen though when a player actually does use a stock model, or that deliberately misleading associations didn't use to be common.



Here is a current press release by HEAD:
HEAD racquet rebel Novak Djokovic has returned to the world No. 2 ranking thanks to another standout performance as the Serb won the ATP 1000 BNP Paribas Open Masters title in Indian Wells over Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic improved his record to an impressive 18-0 this season on the ATP world tour with trophies at Indian Wells, Dubai and the Australian Open and remains unbeaten since he has switched to his new HEAD YouTek IG SPEED MP 18/20 racquet. Djokovic's win followed his semi-final knockout of No. 2 Roger Federer, whom the HEAD player has now replaced in the ATP rankings.
http://www.head.com/tennis/news.php?region=eu&id=995

Stay tuned for more since you have not seen them:
From HEAD's Website:
YouTek Radical Pro
This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for extra power. An open-string pattern provides extra-pop and spin and features a leather grip for ultimate tour performance..
http://www.head.com/tennis/products/racquets/tour/radical/youtek-radical-pro/2391/?region=eu
In case you don't know Murray use the PT57A with a 16x19 string pattern. That is without the engineering code a Pro Tour 630 with a 16x19 drill pattern.

Boricua
03-29-2011, 07:51 AM
Maybe not ilegal, but certainly inapropiate.:)

Gasolina
03-29-2011, 08:41 AM
There may be something to this other than "causing damage" that's been talked about a lot recently.

For me it doesn't matter if the racquet you thought Federer was using caused you to play worse or not. It's deceit anyway.

Consider this. You go ahead and buy an original classical painting from a reputable art store. It looks really good, and you hang it on your den for you to enjoy.

A few weeks down the line, you find out that the paintings were fake. Now do you have the right to sue / get back at the art store?

It's the same as the racquet. Head tells you that Novak Djokovic went 18-0 when he switched to the new IG speed. You buy it but don't play with it, you just show it off to your friends. Then one TTer points out the Novak doesn't use the IG speed. Do you have the right to sue / get back at Head? Hell I think you do.

mary fierce
03-29-2011, 09:30 AM
What's interesting to me, and disingenuous about all the complaints here, is that the anger is all directed at the racquet companies and not at the players who participate in the fraud. They are as guilty and complicit as anyone, accepting paintjobs that they know are deceptive and that they know will be used for advertising. (Some of the players, including Djokovic, Murray, the Bryans and others, appear in the TV ads claiming that they use such and such racquet.) They are co-conspirators in the fraud and lend their names and reputations to it, the fraud not being possible without their celebrity. They're just trying to make a buck, you suggest? I can say the same of the manufacturer. No difference.

naturallight
03-29-2011, 09:44 AM
Come on, look at the actual text: "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for extra power"

Note it does not say "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for the Australian Open"

Head could easily claim that whenever Murray is looking for "extra power", he likes the YouTek--and for the Aussie Open, he wasn't looking for "extra power", so it he didn't play with it. No problems legally here.

Gasolina
03-29-2011, 09:46 AM
Come on, look at the actual text:
Yeah but you can't say the same fo the IG Speed.

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 09:47 AM
Come on, look at the actual text: "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for extra power"

Note it does not say "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for the Australian Open"

Head could easily claim that whenever Murray is looking for "extra power", he likes the YouTek--and for the Aussie Open, he wasn't looking for "extra power", so it he didn't play with it. No problems legally here.

Next it will Depend on what the meaning of the word is "is"....... Give me a break..........

Andy has never used the YT Radical Pro in Tournament play. The web site clearly says "This is Andy Murray's racquet of choice for extra power". Meaning that Andy uses the YT Radical Pro for the extra power it provides his game.

mary fierce
03-29-2011, 09:56 AM
I think you meant....what the meaning of the word "is" is

naturallight
03-29-2011, 09:57 AM
Next it will Depend on what the meaning of the word is "is"....... Give me a break..........

Words do have meanings...

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 09:58 AM
I think you meant....what the meaning of the word "is" is
Either way is fine by me but Bill did also say:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4XT-l-_3y0

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 09:59 AM
Words do have meanings...

right there are many different meaning to the word "is".........:roll:

naturallight
03-29-2011, 10:15 AM
right there are many different meaning to the word "is".........:roll:

I don't see how "extra power" = "yes I used this racquet for a xyz tournament".

It's vague for a reason. The tennis companies have lawyers too.

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 10:27 AM
I don't see how "extra power" = "yes I used this racquet for a xyz tournament".

It's vague for a reason. The tennis companies have lawyers too.

It's not vague at all. It is very clear. The website clearly says "This is Andy Murray's racquet of choice for extra power". Meaning that Andy uses (plays with) the YT Radical Pro for the extra power it provides his game. They are telling you why Andy is supposed to be using the YT Radical Pro.

Power Player
03-29-2011, 10:40 AM
A Radical Pro with Cap grommets ;).

bluetrain4
03-29-2011, 11:45 AM
You could certainly file suit, but the chance of it surviving summary judgment aren't that great. Even if the case got to trial, proving damages and intentional fraud/disception would be difficult.

Also, there is the base issue, as odd as it may sound, of what exactly is a specific racket? Seriously, for example, Murray is using something painted as a Youtek Radical Pro. Well, how is it not a Youtek Radical Pro? Isn't the paint job part of what makes a Radical Pro a Radical Pro? Again, this may sound stupid, but this is the kind of hair-splitting that would occur in any case. You might argue that the Radical Pro is the published specs not the paintjob. So, if Murray isn't using racket with the TW or other published specs, Head is being intentionally deceitful. But, Head then just argues that Murray is using a "version" of the Radical Pro. It would be tough to argue that a set of specific specs "are" a specific frame. Say, for example, a player uses a Wilson 6.1 with NCode specs, but it's painted like a Kfactor. What's the argument? You say, obviously that the Kfactor-painted racket has the specs of the previous NCode, not the published specs of the Kfactor. Well, then the company just says, again, that the player's Kfactor is a slightly different version customized for the player, a wholly understandable argument It really can't be a painted NCode, unless, literally the Kfactor paintjob was applied on top of the NCode paintjob.

All of this seems stupid and trivial and against common sense, but these things center to the case. And, proving that the manufacturer set out to intentionally deceive the purchaser would be difficult as well.

vsbabolat
03-29-2011, 12:45 PM
You could certainly file suit, but the chance of it surviving summary judgment aren't that great. Even if the case got to trial, proving damages and intentional fraud/disception would be difficult.

Also, there is the base issue, as odd as it may sound, of what exactly is a specific racket? Seriously, for example, Murray is using something painted as a Youtek Radical Pro. Well, how is it not a Youtek Radical Pro? Isn't the paint job part of what makes a Radical Pro a Radical Pro? Again, this may sound stupid, but this is the kind of hair-splitting that would occur in any case. You might argue that the Radical Pro is the published specs not the paintjob. So, if Murray isn't using racket with the TW or other published specs, Head is being intentionally deceitful. But, Head then just argues that Murray is using a "version" of the Radical Pro. It would be tough to argue that a set of specific specs "are" a specific frame. Say, for example, a player uses a Wilson 6.1 with NCode specs, but it's painted like a Kfactor. What's the argument? You say, obviously that the Kfactor-painted racket has the specs of the previous NCode, not the published specs of the Kfactor. Well, then the company just says, again, that the player's Kfactor is a slightly different version customized for the player, a wholly understandable argument It really can't be a painted NCode, unless, literally the Kfactor paintjob was applied on top of the NCode paintjob.

All of this seems stupid and trivial and against common sense, but these things center to the case. And, proving that the manufacturer set out to intentionally deceive the purchaser would be difficult as well.

Just so you know the mould or shape as well as the materials (composition) of the YT radical Pro and the frame Murray really uses are completely different. They don't and can't even take the same grommets. The racquets have no relation to each other other than they have strings in the head and a handle where you grip the racquet...........

El Diablo
03-29-2011, 01:50 PM
bluetrain made the point so cogently, but it's worth also noting that specs vary even in terms of what the consumer can buy under the same rubric. Companies often sell the "same" racquet as 16x19 or 18x20, the "same" racquet name (PB-10, for example) as a 93 or 98 square inch frame, even a PB "lite" as ostensibly the same racquet 30 grams lighter. So a defense lawyer would not have a hard time arguing that a particular racquet designation often refers to any number of specification sets.

bluetrain4
03-29-2011, 01:53 PM
Just so you know the mould or shape as well as the materials (composition) of the YT radical Pro and the frame Murray really uses are completely different. They don't and can't even take the same grommets. The racquets have no relation to each other other than they have strings in the head and a handle where you grip the racquet...........

I realize this, and I'm arguing that this still wouldn't be enough for a successful lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Bobby Jr
03-29-2011, 02:35 PM
Consider this. You go ahead and buy an original classical painting from a reputable art store. It looks really good, and you hang it on your den for you to enjoy.

A few weeks down the line, you find out that the paintings were fake. Now do you have the right to sue / get back at the art store?
Completely different area of law. The scenario you suggest is about a straight fraud (intentionally) with potential copyright issues also. (I agree there was representation for sure but probably legally that is a minor aspect compared to the major issue)

It seems many people here need to find a basics of commercial/common law type article. Laws vary between commercial, criminal etc and many comments here muddle them completely. Likewise, different countries have different legal systems which vary greatly. It is also flawed - actually also arrogantly presumptuous - think to apply American laws in many cases. (the Head vs Dunlop case being a prime example)

Bobby Jr
03-29-2011, 03:07 PM
You could certainly file suit, but the chance of it surviving summary judgment aren't that great. Even if the case got to trial, proving damages and intentional fraud/disception would be difficult.

Also, there is the base issue, as odd as it may sound, of what exactly is a specific racket?
Exactly as you say Bluetrain it reminds me of a legal example in commercial law about orange juice.

A company once complained (in NZ I believe) that a competitor was advertising their cheap, made from concentrate, orange juice as 100% orange juice. The complainant said: that's false because it's not 100% orange.

The guy making it said: what is orange juice? We think it's anything that tastes like oranges - so, our juice is indeed 100% orange juice. It doesn't taste like lemon or grapefruit or anything else - it's just orange.

The complainant couldn't show that their interpretation of the term "orange juice" had any more merit - mostly because the term had been muddled over decades of orange tasting juices. It was impractical to suddenly now hold a company to task over what many people would agree was obviously a misleading claim. The complainant let it slide and just started marketing their juice as "100% made from oranges".

I.e. It's hard to determine who holds the 'keys' to what something can be defined as when it's a created product - so, given a racquet manufacturer holds the "creation" keys to their frames there is nothing anywhere saying they cannot make a number of frames called the XYZ - one for public sale and another for their special mates. They are both called XYZ - why can't the both be referred to as such? There is no law stating you cannot have two variants of something called the same thing - especially since one of them is not even being sold.

However, an issue would arise if they said "Andy plays with the exact same frame you can buy"... But they don't: they say "Andy uses the Youtek prestige bla bla". In their reckoning they are still correct and, as you say, it is so muddled to be a pointless pursuit legally to claim meaningful deception.

Bobby Jr
03-29-2011, 03:21 PM
Let me try this again: I have hit, used, played with BOTH the balls that are actually used in the U.S. Open and the balls that are sold at the retail level. There is no difference in performance of these balls. They are the same balls. I don't know why I have to debate with you over everything? I do have different experinces than you. I know, it is very shocking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm not debating everything you say other than to show the flip-side to the argument - some of which have been fundamentally flawed legally.

I also posed the notion that however identical you think the balls are is actually no the point: it's how identical they actually are that would matter. Just because you can, or think you can, tell the difference (or lack of in this case) is not a definitive benchmark by anyone's standard other than your own. The same reasoning is why you can't prove a murder by getting a cop to say "I'm pretty sure he did it. He looks to me like he did it" in absence of no other evidence.

You say the balls are identical, someone else says: but they have different markings. You say they play the same, someone else says: but they just feel different (even if they're wrong)... expand this for eternity.

The definitive way to prove it is to get the manufacturers to show them on the production line... Would getting them to actually say it be OK?... But can they believed after what we already know what tennis racquet, clothing and shoe manufacturers want us to believe despite the evidence showing they're wrong?

big bang
03-29-2011, 03:26 PM
How about Heads speed pro commercial "used on tour by N. Djokovic", it even comes with his signature. To me this indicates that Novak really used the speed pro. Its not fair to the costumers!
BUT 99% of ppl playing tennis never heard of paint jobs, most guys at my club didnt know before I told them about it and most dont care.
I always enjoy when youngsters show up with their new sticks saying I bought the new APDGT or YTRP because Rafa and Andy use them, so they must be great frames:). If they are really interested in gear I tell them the truth or else I just keep my mouth shut and let them enjoy their new sticks. But these youngsters will buy any gear their idol promotes, they truly believe that pro players switch sticks every second year because the new tech is much better than the old one. If I was young and naiv and bought every stick my idol ever promoted and then found out they were all paint jobs on a custom stick I might think that I wasted all the money I spend over the years.

I think its very sad that the racquet companies lie about what the pros are using. Why not say " this YT radical is the retail racquet closest to what Murray is using, we made this racquet so its easier to use because Murray´s is too demanding for 99% of the public". Murray fans would still buy it because its the same pj as Andy´s and they cant get the real thing. Or "This new APDGT is the new version of the original APD that Nadal still uses etc etc", ppl would still buy the new GT version, babolat could interview Rafa and have him say that the new GT is a very nice frame, but since he used the original for so many years he prefer the feel of it and that he could switch to the GT, but since hes #1 he dont wanna spend time on getting used to the feel of the GT. I really dont think sales would drop if they just admitted the massive use of pj´s.

Bobby Jr
03-29-2011, 03:40 PM
How about Heads speed pro commercial "used on tour by N. Djokovic", it even comes with his signature. To me this indicates that Novak really used the speed pro....
This sort of scenario is where I can see there being some potential for legitimate complaints. That said, as said a few posts further up, his frame is also called that (really no matter what anyone says) so is hard to deny he doesn't in fact use some variant of it - even if that difference is really just a different paint job on an older frame.

The signature however is irrelevant. It means nothing whatsoever in terms of forming any promise - it's just an added marketing trend to associate a respected person's stamp of approval on something. Even racquets for children have Federer's signature on them.

vsbabolat
03-30-2011, 09:31 AM
I'm not debating everything you say other than to show the flip-side to the argument - some of which have been fundamentally flawed legally.

I also posed the notion that however identical you think the balls are is actually no the point: it's how identical they actually are that would matter. Just because you can, or think you can, tell the difference (or lack of in this case) is not a definitive benchmark by anyone's standard other than your own. The same reasoning is why you can't prove a murder by getting a cop to say "I'm pretty sure he did it. He looks to me like he did it" in absence of no other evidence.

You say the balls are identical, someone else says: but they have different markings. You say they play the same, someone else says: but they just feel different (even if they're wrong)... expand this for eternity.

The definitive way to prove it is to get the manufacturers to show them on the production line... Would getting them to actually say it be OK?... But can they believed after what we already know what tennis racquet, clothing and shoe manufacturers want us to believe despite the evidence showing they're wrong?

You are continuing to debate with me over balls. I did not know I was in your Kangaroo Court. Fine the balls are completely different. They are made out of Flubber and filled with helium.

Just a FYI since you don't know about tennis balls. The balls are strictly regulated by the ITF.
I hope you enjoy your reading:
http://www.itftennis.com/technical/news/newsarticle.asp?articleid=22315

There is no secret about the balls. But if you say that because they will have a Tournament logo on it, that makes them a completely different ball. That is fine. I know the truth.
I have not advocated anyone bringing a action against the racquet companies. I merely pointed out that such a action did take place. I also pointed out that a action was brought against Nike over the ball Tiger Woods had used. I am not here to debate the merits of these cases. Just merely that they did exist.

LPShanet
04-03-2011, 11:18 AM
Stock car racing and tennis is not even comparable.....

With Tennis when talking about amateurs and the Tour we all use the same tennis balls, we all play on the same size tennis courts (within the lines). When the Babolat Aero ProDrive first came out it was the SAME as Nadal's. Now it is not. Why you say. Simple because of marketing. With Stock car it is not even comparable.

There's a further reason why stock car racing isn't even comparable, and that is because the specific ways in which the cars differ from what is on the road are specifically known and those modifications are not only allowed by defined and required by the sport. The very definition of a stock car's specs is carefully laid out in the governing of the sport in a way that makes it impossible for a street car to be mistaken for one used on this track. And, as VSB so correctly points out, tennis is a sport that is played with the same equipment available to consumers, with the same rules, specs and requirements. This is a fact.

LPShanet
04-03-2011, 11:20 AM
Actually, this is not the case always. At some tournaments the balls are different spec - either passed through better quality control than the general release balls or are marked differently. That doesn't mean people will line up to cry foul when they buy balls which have "Official US Open ball" or whatever written on them.

That's just not so. Your understanding of law seems to greatly outreach your knowledge of specific tennis equipment, rules or manufacturing practices. The tour balls have a very narrow spec, which all of them share, and the balls used at the US Open are the exact same US Open balls that a consumer can purchase. VS is right on that as well.

TensProfes
04-03-2011, 12:29 PM
Seriously, there is without doubt a great reason that no-one has taken racquet companies to task over this. Because it has basically no merit except in the eyes of die-hard detail nazis. Thankfully these people don't dictate how laws are interpreted.

There is indeed a great reason that not many racquet companies have been taken to task over the issues at hand. That the differences are too minute or hard to define has nothing to do with it, however. That there is no merit in such a claim is also not the case. There is another reason why there haven't been higher profile suits taken against racquet companies. I'm assuming you're a lawyer (from your language in previous posts), and am surprised that you're not aware of the real reason. It's the reason that is behind almost every action that almost any lawyer takes: money.

The only reason there hasn't been greater legal activity in this realm is because there isn't money to be made. And it's pretty rare that you get the legal community excited about anything that can't produce them a pile of cash. That doesn't mean that what the companies are doing isn't illegal, though. As you correctly pointed out earlier, it is fairly difficult to show injury or damage in a case like this, and that is the reason you don't see many case (not because the equipment isn't different or the intent to deceive can't be proven). And if damage was shown, it would be of the order of the cost of the racquet itself...not enough to be worth keeping a bunch of your esteemed colleagues in Bruno Maglis and Anguilla beach houses for the rest of their lives, or at least the fiscal year.

The Head/Dunlop case does show that such an action could be entertained in a court, and that there is cause. But it took a company masquerading another's frames as its own to get them to court, because that had some suggestion of actual injury to the company. In the case of a company painting its own old frames to look like its new ones, which is the vast majority of what's happening out there, it's pretty tough to find someone who wants to file suit. Is Head meant to sue itself? Consumers are too poorly organized, and stand to gain too little to make this happen. And as VSBabolat correctly noted, the intention in that Dunlop case was probably to force Safin's hand, while embarrassing Dunlop in the process. It was also filed at a time when Head was making a concerted effort to establish its position as the primary racquet supplier to ATP players in the public's mind. Most of those players weren't even being paid...they simply used Head frames because Head offered a comprehensive pro room program when few other companies did the same. A large portion of Head's marketing and advertising at the time was based on that positioning. So the publicity of the case was a great tool in that regard. To wit, even the players who use other companies' racquets, might actually be using Head.

Another reason it's tough to bring a PJ case to court is that it's also very difficult to prove the superiority of the unavailable equipment in question, especially since most of it is simply older retail gear. At least in the case of the golf balls, there are universally accepted measures of a ball's performance, independent of who is using it (such as distance flown). The Tiger Woods case does show that it is possible to take such an action, if there is a large enough group motivated to take action, and objective measures of the equipment are available.

It should be noted that any of those folks who have stated upthread that it would be difficult to prove what exactly constitutes a specific model (or that the PJ racquets in question aren't just "versions" of the actual frame), or that it would be tough to prove intent to deceive on the part of the racquet companies, you are unequivocally, 100%, totally, absolutely wrong. The deceptions and definitions are very easy to determine with within the framework of industrial practice and naming conventions. This is the easy part of the case. The racquets and their production could be easily shown in many cases (e.g. Djokovic's or Murray's frames) to be materially different from what is being marketed in every significant way. Tennis racquets, by the nature of their production are defined by mold shape and layup materials, among other things. In both cases mentioned, the molds are different from any racquet that has ever been sold as the racquet in question. Further, the layups used are completely different in both supply line and physical composition from anything that has borne the names in question. It would be far harder legally to prove any actual similarity between the racquets than it would be to prove that they are different, and not what they are being labeled as. And in terms of the intent to deceive, it would take all of 30 seconds to uncover documents that prove clearly that there is an intentional effort to masquerade old pro frames as completely different current ones. None of this would be tough. What is tough if finding someone who cares enough to sink the cash into it, or a reason for them to do so.

TensProfes
04-03-2011, 12:33 PM
No. Technically, the players endorse the brand, not any particular stick. Plus you might not have standing, and you'd have to show that you were somehow harmed.

That seems 2/3 correct. It's true that most players' contracts are simply to endorse a specific brand, but in many actual marketing materials, they endorse specific models, and claims of use are made. And as previously mentioned, someone suing would have to show harm, which is probably where the real trick lies.

Bobby Jr
04-03-2011, 02:11 PM
...am surprised that you're not aware of the real reason. It's the reason that is behind almost every action that almost any lawyer takes: money.
Yep, I touched on it I think - that there would basically be no remedy worth the effort.

And as VSBabolat correctly noted, the intention in that Dunlop case was probably to force Safin's hand, while embarrassing Dunlop in the process.
The part about embarrassing Dunlop/showing Head made pro fames was entirely my line of thinking. I mean really, what remedy were they hoping to get (remember it was considered in Germany only)? The kudos they got showing they were maker of frames pros actually use is beyond brilliant in terms of free marketing. You almost couldn't come up with a more persuasive marketing angle as a racquet manufacturer imo.

Sounds like Safin offered Head this opportunity either through plain carelessness or through an ill-considered business decision.

Very nice post TensProfes. Some good points which hadn't been mentioned before in there.

Bobby Jr
04-03-2011, 02:34 PM
That's just not so. Your understand of law seems to greatly outreach your knowledge of specific tennis equipment, rules or manufacturing practices. The tour balls have a very narrow spec, which all of them share, and the balls used at the US Open are the exact same US Open balls that a consumer can purchase. VS is right on that as well.
Go and read my other posts on this. I also talked at length about what constitutes something being different and that even a paint-job - the whole discussion of the this thread - would be enough to show difference. Even on balls.

As an example to demonstrate the point.. Someone may think it only matters that the balls are functionally the same but, by applying the racquet debate logic used here, they cannot be claimed to be exactly the same because they simply are not (see photos below).

The US Open balls you can buy:
http://i54.tinypic.com/vrqc09.jpg

But the ball used by males the pros also has this on the other side:
http://i56.tinypic.com/avmpso.jpg

So, by telling people they can buy the US Open ball - when the one they get has a different paint job - is different to racquets how? It's too convenient to pull out the 'difference' line of debate when it suits and then not when it doesn't.

Now, I know and totally accept that the characteristics that matter may be exactly the same - but at what point of change, aesthetic or otherwise, can someone claim they're not the same anymore? Is it a 0.001% change? Or 5% change? Who decides? Because everyone's idea of "the same" is not the same, nor is their ability to notice the differences the same.

vsbabolat
04-03-2011, 03:10 PM
Go and read my other posts on this. I also talked at length about what constitutes something being different and that even a paint-job - the whole discussion of the this thread - would be enough to show difference. Even on balls.

As an example to demonstrate the point.. Someone may think it only matters that the balls are functionally the same but, by applying the racquet debate logic used here, they cannot be claimed to be exactly the same because they simply are not (see photos below).

The US Open balls you can buy:
http://i54.tinypic.com/vrqc09.jpg

But the ball used by males the pros also has this on the other side:
http://i56.tinypic.com/avmpso.jpg

So, by telling people they can buy the US Open ball - when the one they get has a different paint job - is different to racquets how? It's too convenient to pull out the 'difference' line of debate when it suits and then not when it doesn't.

Now, I know and totally accept that the characteristics that matter may be exactly the same - but at what point of change, aesthetic or otherwise, can someone claim they're not the same anymore? Is it a 0.001% change? Or 5% change? Who decides? Because everyone's idea of "the same" is not the same, nor is their ability to notice the differences the same.

I see your Kangaroo Court is back in session. By your flawed logic: the Club I play at sells different balls than anyone else can buy because they have the Club's logo on the ball and different to a balls being sold anywhere. Therefore the Balls being sold at my Club are paint job balls. Well done confusing the issues. Bravo....

Bobby Jr
04-03-2011, 03:27 PM
I see your Kangaroo Court is back in session. By your flawed logic: the Club I play at sells different balls than anyone else can buy because they have the Club's logo on the ball and different to a balls being sold anywhere. Therefore the Balls being sold at my Club are paint job balls. Well done confusing the issues. Bravo....
VS - please read the bottom of my post. I said it was an example to demonstrate a point - not that it was a good one.

THE POINT is that, no matter what you say, the balls used at the US Open are not identical to the ones you can buy - if even only because of the markings.

I'm not confusing the issue - I was clear in what I said and people chose to misread or ignore the framing/context of the post because they're not considering the overarching issues from an objective perspective - looking at it both ways.

I don't disagree with you on the topic of a club having their own marked balls at all - the point is YET AGAIN: what constitutes change? And what constitutes enough of that change for someone to have a legitimate reason to complain?

Your personal interpretation of what change is is irrelevant - it's what could reasonably be demonstrated to a sufficient level to satisfy a court. If a person specifically wanted balls just like at the US Open and the markings were an important criteria to them - then they would rightly have a gripe when they opened their so-called US Open balls and found the looked different.

I know you think you have a point here, and you actually do to an extent. But your posts use the "bludgeon" line of debate: saying the same thing over and over. This doesn't make an argument any more compelling. I offered some evidence that the US Open balls and the consumer balls are not identical as has been claimed as a related anecdote and, instead of working to the issue, you just come back with the same stuff yet again.

El Diablo
04-03-2011, 03:33 PM
Bobby
Don't pretend to be dense. You certainly understand that the balls having a different label on them would not cause a discernible difference in how they perform (applying a "reasonable man" standard), whereas the different racquets being discussed here have different specifications and would of course be expected to perform differently.

LPShanet
04-03-2011, 03:36 PM
Go and read my other posts on this. I also talked at length about what constitutes something being different and that even a paint-job - the whole discussion of the this thread - would be enough to show difference. Even on balls.

As an example to demonstrate the point.. Someone may think it only matters that the balls are functionally the same but, by applying the racquet debate logic used here, they cannot be claimed to be exactly the same because they simply are not (see photos below).

The US Open balls you can buy:
http://i54.tinypic.com/vrqc09.jpg

But the ball used by males the pros also has this on the other side:
http://i56.tinypic.com/avmpso.jpg

So, by telling people they can buy the US Open ball - when the one they get has a different paint job - is different to racquets how? It's too convenient to pull out the 'difference' line of debate when it suits and then not when it doesn't.

Now, I know and totally accept that the characteristics that matter may be exactly the same - but at what point of change, aesthetic or otherwise, can someone claim they're not the same anymore? Is it a 0.001% change? Or 5% change? Who decides? Because everyone's idea of "the same" is not the same, nor is their ability to notice the differences the same.

Sorry, but you're still not quite factually correct (nor for that matter legally correct in a practical sense). When they manufacture the U.S. Open ball (the one actually used at the Open), they pluck them from the same production line as the ones used for consumer sales, not from a separate production run. The additional printing on the other side is done after primary production. So in that sense, it's nothing like the PJ's being discussed, and more similar to a racquet being modified by a customizer after it's already been made. (This service is also readily available to corporate entities and marketers, and even to consumers if they want to avail themselves of it.) In effect it IS the same ball, as VSBabolat has already stated correctly upthread. Now if a lawsuit concerning the balls related to their appearance and the fact that some people would buy them as souvenirs, then you'd be right. But if the suit related to the use of the ball for its intended sport, its performance, its properties and its use as "equipment" (which is what we're discussing here), you'd be incorrect. And legally, if the damages being sought related to said performance, properties, and manufacture, it would be considered the same ball. Just as putting some decals on a car after it's left the production line doesn't make it a different car...just one that's been decorated differently.

Unfortunately, the argument of "difference" you're making, while having all the outer appearances of being a legal one, really isn't. That is because the concept of being "different" depends on the specific parameters being argued in the case at hand. In a high school debate class, that might fly, but in a court of law, you'd have to prove that they were different in a way material to the suit.

Further, the continued chatting about the ball really just serves to distract from the real discussion, which is about racquets and the deceptive practices used to market them. VSBabolat brought up the balls simply to point out that recreational tennis players use equipment (court, balls, nets, etc.) that is in all practical ways the same as what the pros use. The balls were just one of many ways in which the standards that consumers use are the same as those applied to the game. He was using this to differentiate it from stock car racing, where the entire sport and its standards are not only not practiced by the general public, but completely unavailable. Most of the actions and equipment of stock car racing are in fact illegal on any public street. Quite different from playing tennis. So VS's point was apt, both factually and legally.

So to recap and answer the question at the end of your post, "So, by telling people they can buy the US Open ball - when the one they get has a different paint job - is different to racquets how?": That ball situation is different to the racquets we're discussing in that the US Open ball is the same ball, made with the same materials and specifications at the same factory on the same production line, and has simply had an additional logo printed on it after initial manufacture before packaging. It is indistinguishable by any scientific methods of performance testing. The PJ racquets are usually entirely different designs, based on different patents, with different shapes, made from different materials, often in different factories (sometimes on different continents!!!), and always in different production lines, which have then been disguised to willfully mislead those who see them into believing they are the same as the ones available to them. Sounds like a pretty different set of circumstances to me. And for the legal beagles out there, the fact that the two racquets employ entirely different sets of patents on their technologies (where obviously the balls don't) makes a world of difference legally, too.

The argument about degrees of change is a specious one, and isn't relevant legally in this case, as the two products weren't arrived at by starting with the same thing and modifying it. They were different from the start, and then one was disguised to mimic the other cosmetically. Legally, it has little relevance in this case, and is more often applied in cases of copyright and creative product, which this is not.

Bobby Jr
04-03-2011, 03:39 PM
Bobby
Don't pretend to be dense. You certainly understand that the balls having a different label on them would not cause a discernible difference in how they perform (applying a "reasonable man" standard), whereas the different racquets being discussed here have different specifications and would of course be expected to perform differently.
I didn't say nor imply that they would perform differently. Read my above post.

Read also my comment about the overarching issue at hand.

LPShanet
04-03-2011, 03:58 PM
Come on, look at the actual text: "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for extra power"

Note it does not say "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for the Australian Open"

Head could easily claim that whenever Murray is looking for "extra power", he likes the YouTek--and for the Aussie Open, he wasn't looking for "extra power", so it he didn't play with it. No problems legally here.

While we're at it, arguments like this wouldn't be how they defended themselves legally, either. Subtleties of the language offer some protection, but usually only in the severity of how reparations would be made or how much intent/fault was found. It does not get them off the hook legally at all for being misleading. Especially with respect to advertising, legal precedent tends to relate to what the typical consumer would assume the communication to mean, and whether it was likely to be misleading. In the case of this type of advertising, there is a very high likelihood that the language would be found to be deceptive and misleading, and that the racquet companies would be held responsible. Further, most forms of media police their own back yards. So the standards of the television stations, magazines, etc. are just as relevant to the outcome here as the law is. Unfortunately, in the case of tennis publications, the magazines are too afraid of losing their advertisers to take any real action here. But I can assure you that there are people at quite a few of the publications who are aware of the deceptive practices. In one case (that will remain nameless), the publication even went so far as to publish an article about paintjobs that implied disingenuously that the practice was less widespread than people think (and to describe those who talk about paintjobs in similar terms to those used for conspiracy theorists).

The problem is that the typical reparation would simply be to get the company to change the wording in future ads, which benefits no one, and doesn't get anyone paid. As stated previously, it would be hard to show material harm here, and even harder to make a substantial sum from it. Thus, no suit forthcoming, at least for now. However, I do think that one high profile suit might be all it would take to change things quite a bit.

Bobby Jr
04-03-2011, 04:03 PM
So to recap and answer the question at the end of your post, "So, by telling people they can buy the US Open ball - when the one they get has a different paint job - is different to racquets how?": That ball situation is different to the racquets we're discussing in that the US Open ball is the same ball, made with the same materials and specifications at the same factory on the same production line, and has simply had an additional logo printed on it after initial manufacture before packaging.......

The argument about degrees of change is a specious one, and isn't relevant legally in this case....
Setting aside that you're probably in the majority of board members who are American and think American legal thinking is universal despite the fact that most of the world thinks differently.

Now. I agree with most of what you are saying - to a point. What you say is a specious argument and one which isn't entirely relevant here - any case of this kinds would likely contain plenty of dubious arguments/claims by both sides. No benchmark exists showing what is reasonable in this respect so it is up to the first (probably an insane fanatic) person to pose the question and it'd start from there. They would also attempt to distinguish their scenario from precedents which they didn't agree with as is the usual aim in legal proceedings where precedents are considered.

It is quite obvious few people would consider the difference in the actual US Open ball and the consumer ball to be of any significance. But that, as I've said above, this is not the issue. Someone may consider the aesthetic differences are important to them, think they've been mislead and take issue with it. The debate then starts from there and is not ended unilaterally by ball manufacturers simply because they "know more about balls." If they marketed the balls as the same as the US Open ones (and I don't know that they have) then the same basic area of law could apply as the racquet case. The question is not whether the balls are exactly the same but rather has there been any deception in the marketing. Someone (a wingnut likely) might want to argue there was. There is no practical point though in reality but that hasn't stopped many people taking cases on seemingly pointless issues/gripes for decades.

Now, back on the racquet topic. TensProfes called it right a few posts above - and which we seem to be in agreement about - saying, all things considered, there really is no point in cases because, without demonstrating loss/harm, there is simply nothing to gain which would make it worthwhile financially - unless of course you've got a Dunlop vs Head sort of scenario where the objective was certainly to gain PR more than anything else.

cork_screw
04-03-2011, 05:17 PM
Oh I'm sure you could sue. People have sued over dumber things and have won. This is actually a legitimate complaint.

TensProfes
04-03-2011, 05:50 PM
Setting aside that you're probably in the majority of board members who are American and think American legal thinking is universal despite the fact that most of the world thinks differently.

Now. I agree with most of what you are saying - to a point. What you say is a specious argument and one which isn't entirely relevant here - any case of this kinds would likely contain plenty of dubious arguments/claims by both sides. No benchmark exists showing what is reasonable in this respect so it is up to the first (probably an insane fanatic) person to pose the question and it'd start from there. They would also attempt to distinguish their scenario from precedents which they didn't agree with as is the usual aim in legal proceedings where precedents are considered.

It is quite obvious few people would consider the difference in the actual US Open ball and the consumer ball to be of any significance. But that, as I've said above, this is not the issue. Someone may consider the aesthetic differences are important to them, think they've been mislead and take issue with it. The debate then starts from there and is not ended unilaterally by ball manufacturers simply because they "know more about balls." If they marketed the balls as the same as the US Open ones (and I don't know that they have) then the same basic area of law could apply as the racquet case. The question is not whether the balls are exactly the same but rather has there been any deception in the marketing. Someone (a wingnut likely) might want to argue there was. There is no practical point though in reality but that hasn't stopped many people taking cases on seemingly pointless issues/gripes for decades.

Now, back on the racquet topic. TensProfes called it right a few posts above - and which we seem to be in agreement about - saying, all things considered, there really is no point in cases because, without demonstrating loss/harm, there is simply nothing to gain which would make it worthwhile financially - unless of course you've got a Dunlop vs Head sort of scenario where the objective was certainly to gain PR more than anything else.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that the case isn't valid, just that no one is going to bring it. I agree with LPShanet and VSBabolat that the manufacturers are definitely guilty of deception, both ethically and legally...it's just that there isn't enough potential financial benefit to anyone to actually bring the suit. Once it becomes worth someone's while, I think the case against the manufacturers is pretty strong and easily made.

As for the purposes of such a law suit (PR or otherwise), it's probably safe to say that a majority of law suits in general are brought with no intention of actually going to court, and with goals other than the actual legal spoils of winning the case. So to point out that the objective of the Head/Dunlop case wasn't courtroom victory isn't really relevant, except in explaining why they bothered to pay for it in the first place.

LPShanet
04-03-2011, 06:16 PM
Setting aside that you're probably in the majority of board members who are American and think American legal thinking is universal despite the fact that most of the world thinks differently.

Now. I agree with most of what you are saying - to a point. What you say is a specious argument and one which isn't entirely relevant here - any case of this kinds would likely contain plenty of dubious arguments/claims by both sides. No benchmark exists showing what is reasonable in this respect so it is up to the first (probably an insane fanatic) person to pose the question and it'd start from there. They would also attempt to distinguish their scenario from precedents which they didn't agree with as is the usual aim in legal proceedings where precedents are considered.

It is quite obvious few people would consider the difference in the actual US Open ball and the consumer ball to be of any significance. But that, as I've said above, this is not the issue. Someone may consider the aesthetic differences are important to them, think they've been mislead and take issue with it. The debate then starts from there and is not ended unilaterally by ball manufacturers simply because they "know more about balls." If they marketed the balls as the same as the US Open ones (and I don't know that they have) then the same basic area of law could apply as the racquet case. The question is not whether the balls are exactly the same but rather has there been any deception in the marketing. Someone (a wingnut likely) might want to argue there was. There is no practical point though in reality but that hasn't stopped many people taking cases on seemingly pointless issues/gripes for decades.

Now, back on the racquet topic. TensProfes called it right a few posts above - and which we seem to be in agreement about - saying, all things considered, there really is no point in cases because, without demonstrating loss/harm, there is simply nothing to gain which would make it worthwhile financially - unless of course you've got a Dunlop vs Head sort of scenario where the objective was certainly to gain PR more than anything else.

Actually, I'm a dual citizen, and wasn't basing my discussion on the trivialities of the American system any more than any others. Where are you located?

I'm unaware of any country's legal system where the concepts involved (misrepresentation, false claims, product identity, manufacturing practices, and the like) would be enough different to change the issue at hand. As stated, we should drop all the ball talk, since no one thinks it's a good example, and isn't really parallel at all.

In the case of racquets, it would be fairly easy to establish in any major country's court, that there had been intentional efforts to disguise old out-of-production racquets as current models in order to deceive consumers. Degree of difference isn't really relevant in most cases, as the only similarity between the items in question and their cosmetic counterparts is graphics. It's just like painting an old '57 Mustang like a new Ford Explorer and saying that they'd be considered the same car because they're both Fords. Nonsense. It would be incumbent on the racquet manufacturers to prove that the racquets were related at all, and it would be harder to find similarities than differences.

For example, in the case of Murray's racquet, what could you say was similar to the production racquet, other than the paint job? The racquet is made on a different continent (Europe vs. Asia), by a different factory, it has a different shape (old PT 630 mold vs. current radical mold), uses different materials and patents (no 3do, etc.), and isn't available in any way shape or form to the retail public. It also violates various international marketing practices by not containing the things it says it does. That argument of difference would be over in seconds, regardless of country. It's not a gray area at all. It's true that there are other examples where the similarities and differences are not as clear cut, but there are plenty of cases where there wouldn't be a single aspect in common apart from the paint. Degree of change or "reasonable' declaration of difference wouldn't need to even be discussed.

The only cases where the cosmetic differences you refer to (in the ball tangent you went off on) would be relevant would be in cases where those were the items being sued over, and no one is suing the companies over the fact that the frames look too much like old racquets. The argument that presents is backwards to what we are discussing here. The racquet companies would have to prove the two items were the same not different, and that would be impossible to do, since they have no connection other than being tennis racquets. Please frame any further thoughts on the area in terms of racquets, as the ball discussion is irrelevant and confusing to the issue since it attempts to use a diametrically opposed situation. We're talking about a company having to prove that dissimilar things are actually the same, not vice versa.

As TensProfes correctly stated above, just because it's not financially beneficial to bring a suit doesn't mean that the actions aren't illegal.

Recon
04-03-2011, 09:26 PM
If your a good lawyer, and get a solid case, give them HELL, take them all down for lying to us. Repeatedly.

EdVin70
04-04-2011, 11:29 AM
Mid**** Sports placed two ads on FB saying here's what Nadal and Djokovic are wearing and using on the court at the SE Open. Well I called them out on it and I got a canned response that its well known that they "may customize their rackets" but we see your point. They said thanks for the feedback, we've deleted your posts...

Nice!

WarrenT
04-04-2011, 01:32 PM
Let me try this again: I have hit, used, played with BOTH the balls that are actually used in the U.S. Open and the balls that are sold at the retail level. There is no difference in performance of these balls. They are the same balls. I don't know why I have to debate with you over everything? I do have different experinces than you. I know, it is very shocking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The reason you have to debate with him is because he's trying to use facts & logic while you magically turn your own opinions into "fact". I think in all likelihood, the actual balls used at the US Open are probably the same as the ones being sold to the public. But that's my opinion, I can't prove it. Just because you played with both and your OPINION was that they played the same does not make it a FACT that they are the same. Someone else could play with the balls and say they felt like different balls to him. Neither is fact. Learn how to separate opinions from facts and you might not have to debate so much.

TensProfes
04-05-2011, 09:50 AM
The reason you have to debate with him is because he's trying to use facts & logic while you magically turn your own opinions into "fact". I think in all likelihood, the actual balls used at the US Open are probably the same as the ones being sold to the public. But that's my opinion, I can't prove it. Just because you played with both and your OPINION was that they played the same does not make it a FACT that they are the same. Someone else could play with the balls and say they felt like different balls to him. Neither is fact. Learn how to separate opinions from facts and you might not have to debate so much.

Hmmm...a "new user" attacking someone who is a well-respected poster who is known to have more background in equipment than anyone else on the boards. And doing this even though everyone else agrees with him and there has been strong support for the fact that he's correct about the balls being the same. Do I smell a new account for another existing poster? If not, it's a bit weird.

As several posters have already established, Wilson uses the same ball from the same production line, and then prints the additional logo on it for the Open after production. Wilson says so themselves, and there have been photos of their production process. They are the same balls. Even Bobby Jr. himself has agreed that his argument about the balls being "different" was based on making a point about legal technicalities rather than actual differences. VS has demonstrated that he is very well versed in equipment production, to the point where he is the one person on these forums that everyone asks when they have a question about gear that needs verification. LPShanet has already pointed out that the balls are, in fact, the same, and that the difference in markings was an erroneous one in that the printing is done after production, not during it. And the discussion of the balls at all was just a red herring that has nothing to do with the subject of this thread ultimately. Well done, Warren T.

naturallight
04-05-2011, 10:23 AM
That seems 2/3 correct. It's true that most players' contracts are simply to endorse a specific brand, but in many actual marketing materials, they endorse specific models, and claims of use are made. And as previously mentioned, someone suing would have to show harm, which is probably where the real trick lies.

Where do you see this? The companies are generally very careful about this. Look at the Bab ad in this month's Tennis mag--under Nadal it lists "Aerodrive Pro". No mention of GT.

But even if it listed GT I'm pretty sure Bab's lawyers would not be too worried. They could just give him a GT, he hits a few balls, says it's a good racquet for spin, and that's it. He's never claiming to use it for tournaments. Sure the paint job is the same, but it's the same pj for the junior racquets, extended version, etc.

If you really think this would be a solid legal case, find one of your friends who's a lawyer, lay it out to him, and see what he says.

Carolina Racquet
04-06-2011, 01:41 AM
Where do you see this? The companies are generally very careful about this. Look at the Bab ad in this month's Tennis mag--under Nadal it lists "Aerodrive Pro". No mention of GT.

But even if it listed GT I'm pretty sure Bab's lawyers would not be too worried. They could just give him a GT, he hits a few balls, says it's a good racquet for spin, and that's it. He's never claiming to use it for tournaments. Sure the paint job is the same, but it's the same pj for the junior racquets, extended version, etc.

If you really think this would be a solid legal case, find one of your friends who's a lawyer, lay it out to him, and see what he says.

Take a look at this "player profile" from Babolat's website:

http://www.babolat.com/#/tennis/us/players/61

Clearly implies that he plays with the AeroPro Drive GT. Seems to me that web advertising via their own website might be misleading.

When I tell tennis buddies (who aren't racquet wonks like us) about the paint job scenario they are naive about this practice.

My two cents... If Babolat promotes that "Rafael Nadal USES Babolat racquets and ENDORSES the AeroPro Drive GT frame and was INVOLVED in its development"... no problem.

I think the worst violator is Prince. Their site clearly implies the player USES their EXO3 frame (Ferrer for example) when you can visually see the ports are from a previous model. This can no way be construed as a "modified version" of an EXO3 frame.

I truly believe the racquet companies are testing how far they can stretch the truth in this area and at some point, they will be sued and things will change. Until then, they will mislead consumers.

LPShanet
04-06-2011, 01:25 PM
Where do you see this? The companies are generally very careful about this. Look at the Bab ad in this month's Tennis mag--under Nadal it lists "Aerodrive Pro". No mention of GT.

But even if it listed GT I'm pretty sure Bab's lawyers would not be too worried. They could just give him a GT, he hits a few balls, says it's a good racquet for spin, and that's it. He's never claiming to use it for tournaments. Sure the paint job is the same, but it's the same pj for the junior racquets, extended version, etc.

If you really think this would be a solid legal case, find one of your friends who's a lawyer, lay it out to him, and see what he says.

Not going to do the legwork for you, but even on this thread there have been a few examples of specific cases of listing the actual racquet that isn't being used, and many others abound with a little search engine effort.

But actually, none of that is the point. If a court determines that the communication was misleading, the company would still be liable for that, and if they did so intentionally, the sanctions would be ever tougher. So having Rafa hit a few balls once (or even on multiple occasions) would provide no real legal protection at all, if they had implied that it was the racquet he used for his tournament play. Further, the paint jobs on the junior frames, etc., while similar in color scheme are NOT the same as those on the actual performance frame in terms of their labelling.