Rio_2016_plagarism_logoJanuary 2 - Rio de Janeiro today found itself embroiled in a plagiarism row over the emblem it launched for the 2016 Olympics on New Year's Eve after similarities were drawn to a logo used by an organisation in the United States

The creators made the denial after the Brazilian media noted some similarities with the logo of the Colorado-basedTelluride Foundation.

Both logos depict figures embraced at the arms in a flowing motion.

The director of the Brazilian agency that designed the logo said today he had never seen the foundation's version.

Fred Gelli told that the agency did extensive research to guarantee the design was unique.

"For some reason, we missed that one," Gelli told the newspaper.

Gelli acknowledged a "similarity" with the foundation's logo, but said the broad concept of people embracing each other is not unnusual.

The Telluride Foundation says on its website that it promotes philanthropy and provides "grants and services to the community in support of arts, education, athletics and all charitable causes."

Gelli also dismissed similarities with the painting "The Dance" by Henri Matisse.

"The brand is radically different because it is tridimensional," Gelli said.

"It's a radical difference."

Gelli's Tatil agency entered the process to design the logo along with more than 130 other competitors.

A team of 15 national and international members of the Organising Committee for Rio 2016 made the final decision a few months ago.

A giant TV screen set up on the sand at Copacabana beach beamed the logo to cheering spectators before a massive flag bearing the image was rolled out on top of the crowd.


Organisers say the logo was designed based on four pillars: contagious energy, harmonious diversity, exuberant nature and the Olympic spirit.

"This is all very good," said Gelli.

"We had expected some controversy.

"When we choose a path so universal, we expected something would emerge.

"But the brand has passed the scrutiny of leading experts on brand brains on the planet.

"It took six weeks of research and was not identified any trademark dispute.

"This will exempt us from any charge of plagiarism.

"It was two-and-a-half months honing the brand".

A similar row hit the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games when they launched their logo last March.

Brand consultants Marque Creative were accused of recycling a logo that they had designed before.

Games organisers today dismissed claims they had inherited a "second hand" logo and insisted it was an "original piece of artwork" despite the criticism and the similarities.

Related stories
January 2011: Rio 2016 launches new emblem on Copacabana beach
March 2010: Row over "second hand" Commonwealth Games logo