Chelsea lose first leg in battle with Leeds

English Premier League football champions Chelsea FC are reported to have brought an unsuccessful action against a Leeds, Yorkshire, company Europa Wines which registered the trade mark CHELSKI soon after Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. The intention was to sell a vodka-based alcopop called Chelski Blue (the colour of choice for the Chelsea team). The Trade Marks Registry has rejected Chelsea's opposition and ordered the club to pay £2,750 costs to Europa Wines. Chelsea are rumoured to be highly likely to appeal.

The IPKat doesn't think the opposition was so silly since, after Roman Abramovitch acquired the club, the word Chelski has been used as a (not so) affectionate term for the Blues. See, for example, here, here, here, here and here. He also notes that his Google search for "Chelski" was met with the interrogation "Do you mean Chelsea?" - not that that proves anything in trade mark terms. Merpel says, Chelski is one of those curious words - like Coke and Beetle - that are originally used by the public rather than coined by a business but which then assume a degree of commercial value and become desirable intellectual properties.

When Chelsea famously beat Leeds here
CHELSEA LOSE A LEG CHELSEA LOSE A LEG Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, August 10, 2006 Rating: 5

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