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U.S. Olympians sue Samsung for damages

Samsung Electronics said on Friday that it has taken all necessary legal steps for the launch of its Facebook app, named the U.S. Olympic Genome Project.

“As an Olympic sponsor, the company has followed the necessary protocol with the Olympic Committee and with the sports athletes before launching the app,” its spokesperson said.

In a separate statement released to the media, Samsung Electronics said, it was “disappointed by the lawsuit,” and that “Samsung will continue to support Team USA and the spirit of the Olympics.”

According to media reports, 18 Olympic stars filed a lawsuit Wednesday with the Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that Samsung’s Facebook app is misusing their names and images, as well as making it look like they are endorsing Samsung products.

Athletes included Mark Spitz, Janet Evans and Greg Louganis.

The Genome app, launched early this month, was aimed to “benefit Team USA by connecting fans and U.S. Olympians,” the Korean company said in a statement.

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said that the app was not intended to commercialize their names, as quoted by the media.

“We have honored the requests of the athletes who have filed suit to remove their names, as we offered to do months ago, and of course we will remove any athletes that do not wish to be listed,” Sandusky said in a statement Thursday.

(hkp@heraldcorp.com)
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