Liverpool face growing criticism over plans to trademark name
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 and chief executive Peter Moore has categorically stated local clubs using the name Liverpool “have nothing to fear whatsoever”.
However, City of Liverpool FC remain opposed to the move, which has previously been undertaken by the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Southampton and Everton.
“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 are 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.”
Moore stressed, however, the club’s battle was primarily with off-shore, industrial counterfeiters.
“What we are trying to do is protect the football club, we are not looking to take ownership of ‘Liverpool’,” he told BBC Radio Merseyside.
“Right now we are under attack from large-scale manufacturing which is alluding to be official Liverpool FC merchandise.
“This is not an attack on local football and local vendors. We would never, in any way, go after those organisations.
“They have ‘fair use’ of their names. They have nothing to fear whatsoever.”
Discussions are ongoing with local sides and Moore said the club were looking at potentially drawing up a legal document which would give them official use of the name Liverpool in perpetuity.