HEAD Takes Its Case To Court

By Richard Pagliaro

Marat Safin has a new nemesis in court. Safin, who used a HEAD Prestige racquet to win the 2000 U.S. Open title, signed a contract to endorse Dunlop racquets in April of 2001. But in a complaint filed in the District Court in Munich, Germany, HEAD contends that Safin has continued to play with a HEAD Prestige racquet painted over with the Dunlop logo appearing on the strings.

HEAD claimed that Dunlop justified the use of its logo because it supplies the strings for Safin's racquet. In its complaint, HEAD charged that the use of Dunlop's logo was unfair competition as the logo "invariably indicates the origin of the racquet and not the strings."

The German court granted an injunction against Safin and Dunlop prohibiting the use of a large logo on the strings of the racquet.

"By no means do we want Marat Safin to stop playing with his usual racquet with which he secured one of his greatest victories," HEAD executive vice president racquet sports division Robert Marte said in a statement. "But we don't think it is right to advertise another brand so flagrantly using our racquet."

Tennis Week is trying to reach Dunlop for its response to HEAD's charges.

courtesy tennisweek.com