POSTED: September 1st 2015

Olympic and Paralympic Emblem scrapped by Tokyo 2020 over plagiarism claims

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games' emblem has been abandoned by the Tokyo 2020's Executive Committee. The decision comes in the wake of plagiarism allegations. The Tokyo 2020 President, Yoshiro Mori, notified the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the decision, today.

In November of 2014, the emblem was chosen out of 104 submissions with the winning designer being Kenjiro Sano. He redesigned his work twice before going with the current logo.

Sano's design became the center of a copyright infringement lawsuit. Belgian designer, Olivier Debie claimed the Tokyo 2020 logo resembled the Liege Theatre that he designed. Debie and the theatre filed a lawsuit to have the IOC and other organizations pay $56,000 each time the emblem was used.

Following the allegations, the Tokyo 2020 Selection Committee released the draft versions, which outlined the process utilized by the eight-member panel to choose the design. The Selection Committee also confirmed that the logo used by the Liege Theatre was not registered as a trademark.

Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, John Coates stated, "A few hours ago we were informed by President Mori that the Executive Committee has taken the decision to scrap the design by Mr. Sano and to start afresh and conduct a Japan-wide competition for a new design. There is no question about the originality of Mr Sano's emblem, the design that he did. But such was the criticism and the weight of it in Japan that I can well understand the decision that the Tokyo Organizing Committee has taken and we look forward to the outcome of the new design competition."

A Japan-wide competition will take place to find a new logo design for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · IOC · Sano · Mori · Coates

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