For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

BADGE OF ALLEGIANCE DEFENCE: DOES ANYONE KNOW?


Does anyone know ...?

In Case C-206/01 Arsenal Football Club v Matthew Reed the European Court of Justice ruled that it was not a defence to an action for trade mark infringement for the defendant to say he was using another's trade mark as a "badge of allegiance" or "badge of loyalty" to indicate support for a football team which the trade mark symbolised: the fact that the trade mark was used in such a manner did not mean that it was not affecting the mark's essential function of guaranteeing the identity of the origin of goods or services bearing that mark.

Arsenal logos before (above, right) and after (below, left) the Reed litigation

More than four years have passed since that ruling, but it has not escaped the IPKat's notice that unauthorised merchandise is still sold at or near football grounds. Accordingly, the IPKat asks, does anyone know if any courts - in the UK or elsewhere - have refused to follow the ECJ line and have upheld a "badge of allegiance" defence? If you know of such an occurrence, can you please email the IPKat here or post a Comment below. Any information received will be made available on this blog.

Merpel says, take off that Arsenal shirt - no-one will ever believe you are Thierry Henry!

Fake shirts here and here
Some surprising sponsored links offered to anyone searching "fake shirts" on Google here, here and here
More on Thierry Henry here, here and here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you are reading too much into the Arsenal decision. The mere replication of a registered trade mark is not in itself an infringement. However, Reed affixed the Arsenal sign to his shirts in the places customers would normally expect to see a sign designating trade origin – and that is why he was found liable.

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