Liverpool FC fail in bid to trademark city's name

London (AFP) –


Liverpool Football Club's controversial bid to trademark the word "Liverpool" has been rejected by the British government's Intellectual Property Office.

The Premier League club said their sole aim had been to protect themselves against mass-produced Liverpool FC merchandise and had hoped to trademark the city's name when used in the context of football products and services.

But, after accepting the IPO's decision, the club's chief executive, Peter Moore, admitted they had underestimated the level of opposition from independent traders within the city, plus local football clubs and Liverpool City Council.

The club said in a statement: "Liverpool Football Club can confirm its application to trademark the word 'Liverpool' in the context of football products and services has been unsuccessful.

"The club accepts the decision that has been taken by the Intellectual Property Office, due primarily to what the official judgement cites as 'the geographical significance' of Liverpool as a city in comparison to place names that have been trademarked by other football clubs in the UK."

It said it would continue to "aggressively pursue" large-scale operations that sought to illegally exploit the club's intellectual property.

Moore said the club's intentions had been sincere but they had misunderstood the implications of the trademarking for the local community.

"We underestimated the reaction to it," Moore told the Liverpool Echo. "We had, in very good faith, looked at what we were seeing on a global basis and particularly stuff that was coming into the UK.

"We felt obliged to protect the football club and had looked at other similar situations for clubs that had trademarked their place names in a football context -- there are numerous examples."

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson tweeted: "LFC is a global brand and plays a big part in showcasing our city across the world.

"We have a strong relationship with Peter and his team and the club's importance to the future of this city is without question.

"We will always work together for the people of Liverpool."