Arsenal, The UK Football Club, Sues Arsenal Cider House, The Pittsburgh Bar, Because Of Course It Would

from the up-your-arsenal dept

Exactly how far can overly protective trademark owners go before the wider public wakes up to what a shitstorm trademark has become? It's a question I find myself asking often, given the type of stories we cover around here. It seems any progress made on that front is slow, however, and the ridiculous stories keep on rolling in. You may recall that the Premier League, the UK's famous soccer/football/whatever league, has already proven itself incapable of making any kind of sense while enforcing its intellectual property rights. Well, perhaps taking its cue from its parent league, the also-famous Arsenal soccer club is reaching across the pond to try to block a trademark application for a small bar in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.

When Arsenal Cider House filed for a trademark application, lawyers with the football club tried to stop them.

“I really don’t understand it completely. I know that they don’t have their name on alcohol that I know of, that I can find on the internet, but somehow they’ve justified opposing our trademark,” said Arsenal Cider House owner Bill Larkin.

Reviewing the myriad of iconography for Arsenal compared with what few images I found for Arsenal Cider House, any similarities between the branding appear to be minimal at most. They share the name, and Arsenal Cider House has a cannon in some of its branding, as does the soccer club. Other than that, everything else appears to be different: the colors, the logos, the fonts. Which means this appears to be all about the "Arsenal" name.

As Larkin notes, the soccer club doesn't appear to be involved in the liquor business, so it's not clear how the trademarks would either compete with one another or cause any customer confusion. For the latter, add to it that one entity is a massively well-known sporting team and the other is a local drinking spot and it's pretty clear there should be no confusion between the two. It's not like Arsenal Cider House was named after the team, either.

Larkin says he came up with the name because he was originally located across the street from Arsenal Park.

Yet, here is another small business owner forced to deal with a trademark opposition from a company an ocean away all the same.

Filed Under: arsenal, trademark
Companies: arsenal, arsenal cider house


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 31 Oct 2016 @ 1:48am

    Re: The similarities in logos is stark

    The similarities are that they both chose to use a generic looking, but rather different, picture of a cannon in their logo. This is a no-brainer choice relating to the actual meaning of the word arsenal, and the logos bear no similarity other than this generic design choice. There's no danger of customer confusion, and no indication that any similarities were deliberate.

    So, yeah, I get it still being a cash grab or overreach by a large company trying to control everything.

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