Liverpool FC Denied 'Liverpool' Trademark Due To Its Geographic Significance

from the liver-worst dept

Over the past couple of months, we have been discussing Liverpool FC, of the Premier League, attempting to get a trademark for "Liverpool" in a few soccer-related market designations. Despite the narrow scope of the application, the whole thing was still silly, given that "Liverpool" is purely geographic in nature, not to mention that there are several other independent Liverpool-area soccer clubs that would suddenly be infringing on Liverpool FC's trademark if granted. Interestingly, there was also a rather severe backlash from the public, including from Liverpool fans themselves, who organized a protest against the club.

And now it turns out that all of that pain was for naught, as Liverpool FC has had its trademark application denied by the IPO.

Liverpool FC’s attempt to trademark the word “Liverpool” has been rejected by the government’s Intellectual Property Office due to the “geographical significance” of the city.

In a statement, Liverpool FC said: “The club accepts the decision that has been taken by the Intellectual Property Office, due primarily to what the official judgement cites as ‘the geographical significance’ of Liverpool as a city in comparison to place names that have been trademarked by other football clubs in the UK. We will, however, continue to aggressively pursue those large-scale operations which seek to illegally exploit our intellectual property and would urge the relevant authorities to take decisive action against such criminal activity wherever it exists.”

It's a sane ruling and the statement from Liverpool FC outlines exactly why its attempt to trademark its own city's name to go after large-scale merch sellers that are infringing the club's intellectual property was so wholly unnecessary. After all, here is the club stating that it's going to go ahead and do that enforcement anyway. So what was the point?

You get the sense from the public comments from the team's CEO that he, at least, understands what a total mess this all was.

Peter Moore, the club’s chief executive officer, said: “It should be stressed that our application was put forward in good faith and with the sole aim of protecting and furthering the best interests of the club and its supporters. Nevertheless, we accept the decision and the spirit in which it has been made.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to reiterate our thanks to all those who engaged with us throughout this process, most notably independent traders and local football clubs.”

Uh huh. What actually happened is that those traders, clubs, and the public rallied against what was an intrusive move to lock up the name of a famous city. Still, Moore does have to be diplomatic, I suppose, especially given what a PR nightmare this has become.

Let Liverpool FC serve as a warning, therefore, to any others that might want to apply for trademarks like this in the future.

Filed Under: liverpool, trademark
Companies: liverpool fc


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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 1 Oct 2019 @ 8:46pm

    I suppose they could try for Deadpool.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Ann O'Malley, 1 Oct 2019 @ 9:59pm

    How many more anomalies will you dig up to try and SHAME IP law, Masnick? Just like me, you'll NEVER get rid of copyright. EVER. Trump 2020 will do what Shiva couldn't and NUKE your pirate ankle-biter crew out of the water.

    Thirty times trying to get in! You can't keep up this HOAX that you don't track me, MASNICK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2019 @ 10:06pm

      Re:

      If you intellectual property clowns hate being treated like you're stupid so much, maybe try taking a moment to think and attempt not being stupid for a change?

      Seriously, this shouldn't be hard:

      • Don't have flimsy evidence that falls over in a stiff breeze
      • Don't employ trolls who use shock tactics aimed at pre-trial settlement
      • Make sure the person you're suing isn't a fucking corpse

      It's astounding that after several decades of tolerating your existence, you fucknuggets can't be bothered to follow these simple steps. You more than deserve your reputation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Oct 2019 @ 11:14pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm guessing here, but that looks more like someone trying to parody the usual troll, rather than actually being the usual troll. And, if that's true, whoever you are: knock it off.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2019 @ 12:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Let's see, shitty pun pseudonym, whining about anomalies, redundant capital letters, threatening not to leave...

          Sure looks like the actual blue to me.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 2 Oct 2019 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      This is a joke, right? I mean, this article isn’t even about copyright at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2019 @ 5:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Trademark and copyright are very often conflated by IP fucknuggets because they're both IP law, even though the limits and penalties surrounding them are very different. It's convenient for them to intimidate people with who otherwise wouldn't question them.

        And let's face it, we live in an era where a videogame developer considers DMCAing YouTube videos that give their product a bad review the most effective, if not only way to shut down opinions they consider unfavorable. Everything is about copyright to these assholes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2019 @ 5:42am

    The IPO should issue a statement we have a policy we will not issue a trademark to any
    company for a city or a county,
    but you can trademark city plus name of product ,service ,
    eg london pizza co , bristol coffee co,
    london phone company ltd etc
    No one gets to own the name of a city ,
    its run by the government and local authority , city council .
    For the benefit of the citizens and residents .
    Similar to no company could trademark the us senate, us navy ,
    us marine corps,

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      David (profile), 2 Oct 2019 @ 5:50am

      Re:

      Even a city shouldn't be allowed to trademark a name. You can find the same name used by multiple cities and/or towns across the U.S.. I'm sure that applies everywhere.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2019 @ 6:42am

    Many states have attorney ethics opinions on this very issue. If an attorney, defense or prosecutor does this, or allows his or her agent to do it, or orders someone to do it, the evidence CAN be surpressed, and the attorney (defense only, prosecutors have immunity) can be disciplined.
    But I agree that it is not a privacy violation. No different than an undercover operation.
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    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 2 Oct 2019 @ 8:28am

    I still think "The Four Mop-Tops From A Place That Shall Not Be Named In Order To Avoid Trademark Litigation" just rolls off the tongue, don't you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 2 Oct 2019 @ 9:23am

    This is what comes of letting your lawyers make decisions for yo

    By all means consult your lawyers, but make your own damn decisions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    oudarabian1 (profile), 3 Oct 2019 @ 1:20am

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