football club names

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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iain gourlay
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football club names

Post by iain gourlay »

hi everyone
sorry for going on just want to get this done properly
if on looking at the ipo website a name of a football club does not appear
having done a search, does this then mean that the name of any particular club
is not subject to copyright or trade mark infringement,
also if an entry is deemed as dead ie registration has lapsed and not renewed
does this automatically mean that this would not be liable for infringement either thanks in advance best wishes iain
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Iain,

It's best not to keep starting new threads as all your questions are related. That makes it easier for others to follow the discussion.

If a search of the IPO's trade mark register doesn't turn up anything for a particular club's name then that means the name has not been registered as either a UK or or Community (ie European Union) trade mark. Copyright is entirely separate and comes about automatically when a work is created, without the need for any registration. That said copyright doesn't generally apply to names, because they aren't created in the way that a novel is created, through the intellectual effort of an author and are deemed too short to qualify as 'works'.
Any trade mark which is shown as either refused or dead would not attract the protection of a registered mark (as set out in the Trade Marks Act 1994), but might still be the subject of a passing-off claim if the owner could show that the name had substantial goodwill attached to it, and that goodwill was being damaged by some misrepresentation as to the origin of goods/services which were not associated with the owner of the goodwill. In this context 'misrepresentation' doesn't necessarily mean that the act was deliberately meant to deceive, merely that the public is likely to be confused as to the true origin of the goods or services concerned.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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