Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool face growing criticism over plans to trademark name

The Champions League winners have made an application to the Intellectual Property Office.

Plans to trademark the word Liverpool by the Champions League winners are meeting growing opposition (Peter Byrne/PA)
Plans to trademark the word Liverpool by the Champions League winners are meeting growing opposition (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool are facing growing criticism of their application to trademark the name ‘Liverpool’.

The Champions League winners have made an application to the Intellectual Property Office which, if granted, would ensure all revenue from those services and products using the word ‘Liverpool’ in relation to the club is channelled back to them.

Liverpool have stressed the trademark application will only be applied in the context of football products and services but City of Liverpool FC are the latest to oppose the move.

“Our position is that no privately-owned business should be able to own the name of a city in any context and especially not in the football context in the city of Liverpool,” said a statement from the Northern Premier North West Division side.

“If Liverpool FC are granted this trademark they will effectively own the names of all these clubs and organisations and could force name changes or a license fee.

“We had contact yesterday from Liverpool FC who gave verbal assurances that we, nor any other local football clubs and organisations were the target of this application, and we, of course, accept the word of the club that we are not the target.

“However, the fact remains that the practical effect of the granting of the trademark is a serious threat to the future of our community-owned football club.”

City of Liverpool FC said discussions were ongoing with the Premier League club, who have refunded the £300 CoL FC have spent to date opposing the application.

Supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly have also voiced their opposition to the proposals.

“After a magnificent summer of optimism and celebration for LFC, it is hard to contemplate such a controversial, ill-thought-out move by FSG (Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group). It is one that will alienate the entire fan base,” said a statement.

“SOS strongly oppose the blatant monetisation of our football heritage. The name is not FSG’s to own, it is the name of our city, it is owned by its people. This must be stopped.”

Liverpool’s statement, issued on Thursday, outlined their reasoning for the application.

“This application is strictly to protect the club and supporters from those benefiting from inauthentic products,” said a spokeswoman.

“The benefits to the club to have this protection in place are to ensure all revenues from official products and services are channelled back into the club and this is reinvested into the team and supporting infrastructure.

“We are not, and wouldn’t ever, seek to register ‘Liverpool’ across the board.”

PA has contacted Liverpool for further comment.

PA

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