Month: December 2017

Club Statement regarding Trademark legal issue with The FA / Wembley Stadium

Wembley National Stadium Limited applied to the European Trade Mark Office to cancel Wembley Football Club’s European trade mark. The European cancellation division issued a decision to cancel the Club’s trade mark on 10 July 2017.

Wembley Stadium have stated that the Wembley FC’s trade mark of the lion is too confusingly similar to its trade mark of WEMBLEY STADIUM and therefore could cause confusion in the marketplace to supporters. Unfortunately the European Trade Mark Office agreed with Wembley Stadium.

This has come as a shock and a surprise to the Club as both the Club and the Stadium have peacefully existed together since 1946. The Club was unaware of the cancellation action at the time. The Club has now filed an appeal against the decision.

Wembley Stadium and Wembley FC have co-existed together without any confusion since 1946. There has been over 70 years of honest concurrent use. It is only now, some seventy years later that Wembley Stadium has taken exception to Wembley FC’s use of their trade mark.

Football supporters are really knowledgeable about not only their own, but all other football clubs whether in the league or not, it is doubtful that the supporters would be confused between Wembley Stadium and Wembley FC.

The figurative lion, in the Wembley FC mark is distinctive. The public will be aware that the Wembley Stadium marks refers to Stadium and that the Wembley FC marks refer to Wembley Football Club. One significant reason why trade mark registration is desired is to protect its interest from financial problems as a result of counterfeit goods relating to the Wembley Football Club.

Loyal football fans will immediately recognise the logo of their favourite football club. Likewise consumers will recognise the Stadium’s iconic arch and logo. The relevant public too will understand the differences between the marks and actively seek out the brand they are looking for.

These differences between the Club’s logo and Wembley Stadium’s trade marks are significant. This means that there would be no likelihood of confusion by the relevant consumers in relation to any of the goods and services and we are hopeful that the Appeal will overturn the cancellation decision and that Wembley Football Club’s trade mark will remain registered.

Trademark issue with Wembley Stadium / The FA

 

It is the sort of David versus Goliath tussle that would electrify the third round of the FA Cup — a bitter legal dispute has broken out between the home of English football and a tiny north London club.

Wembley FC, which has a gas fitter, lorry driver and solicitor in its team, has been told by the EU’s Intellectual Property Office that it must give up the trademark registered for its club logo.

The ruling comes after a complaint by Wembley stadium, which is owned by the Football Association (FA), governing body of the game in England. The stadium has a capacity of 90,000, a far cry from Wembley FC’s ground at Vale Farm with its capacity of 2,450.

In 2012 the club registered the trademark, with a lion’s head on a shield beneath the word “Wembley”, to cover branding on goods, such as clothes and alcoholic drinks. The FA, which failed to object when the trademark was filed, is now blocked from selling certain Wembley-branded merchandise in countries across Europe. It was claimed that the club’s logo used “Wembley” as its distinctive feature.

The EU agency said the “English-speaking part of the public” could easily confuse the club with the national stadium and ruled in favour of the FA. The club has appealed.

Brian Gumm, Wembley FC’s chairman, said: “It’s like David and Goliath and it’s costing me money that I can ill afford. They’ve not offered us a penny for it and they just want to come in and take it.

“I want to show you can’t come in and railroad people just because you are who you are. I’m only doing it out of principle.”

The FA said: “We take the enforcement of our intellectual property seriously and only take action as a last resort when an amicable resolution does not seem possible.”

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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/football-minnows-in-wembley-logo-battle-z9g8drvfw