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the Stig races to Channel 5

6 October 2010

Following the highly publicised spat between the BBC and Ben Collins, aka The Stig from BBC’s Top Gear Programme,  it now appears that Mr Collins is racing over to present Channel 5’s rival motor show Fifth Gear.

The BBC will no doubt claim to have image rights in The Stig. However those image rights will be limited. Indeed, there are no such things as image rights per se under UK law. The BBC would need to specifically identify any IP rights it claims to have in The Stig; including design rights, copyright, trade marks or rights in passing off.

Any programme with Collins in a racing outfit that doesn’t confuse the watcher, which uses the name The Stig carefully, or uses clothing that is dissimilar to The Stig’s famous white outfit, is ultimately unlikely to put Channel 5 the wrong side of the line.

No doubt both channels will already be considering the legal issues.

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