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Soccer legend Pele: If you want to use my image, pay me

High-profile individuals are understandably coveted in many instances by business entities that seek to profit from an association with their name or image.

We make some very direct points about that on our website at the Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman, an entertainment and business law firm located in Los Angeles that provides tailored and aggressive legal representation to many well-known individuals across the entertainment world.

Here's one such point: It is vitally important for any artist or other entertainer to give close thought to any linkage with a particular company. As we note on our site, "Artists must consider the impact of their association with certain products and brands."

And here's another takeaway we note: A public figure might reasonably want to timely enlist the services of a proven entertainment attorney in any case where his or her name or image "intersects with brand and product marketing."

That is precisely what legendary soccer star Pele recently did after the electronics company Samsung reportedly used his image without his consent to market television sets. A federal lawsuit recently filed by Pele contends that, following the breakdown of negotiations with Samsung related to such marketing, the company acted unlawfully by using the image of a man closely resembling Pele and engaged in a soccer move intimately associated with the famous star.

Pele's court filing states that the ad illegally infringes his trademarked image and undermines his endorsement rights. The lawsuit demands $30 million as compensation for Samsung's unauthorized use of the soccer icon's identity.

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