Via ESPN comes a story of how Arsenal have forced a Berlin futsal team to change its name.
Arsenal Berlin have renamed themselves to Berlin City Futsal after objections from the club.
The article states, “Arsenal had argued that their reputation and worldwide name recognition is down to significant investment in advertising campaigns as well as on-pitch success, meaning the brand needed protection.”
The founder of Arsenal Berlin, Jorg Meinhardt, “The methods are excessive. The idea that we could have a negative influence on Arsenal’s business operations is remarkable.”
Arsenal apparently used a Hamburg based law firm to act on its behalf and it’s not the only case they’ve been involved in recently.
A French rugby club, SA XV Charente Rugby, recently formed by the merger of two other clubs, fell foul of intellectual property claims when it submitted its logo (below):
A club executive explained the first objection, saying, “Our request was refused because the Pineau des Charentes … enjoys a form of exclusivity on the word Charente, singularly and plurally, as an AOP (Designation of Protected Origin).”
However, the second objection came from Arsenal who had issues with the use of the cannon.
A local source told Arseblog News, “The club wanted to show their links to the local gunpowder factory and garrison, which were nearby, and they inherited an old boat cannon, which they fire on match-days, which has its origins in the wars against the old enemy, we British!
“The river Charente has a long history of having to defend against the British, with many forts (Boyard was one) built on the Gironde, then, because they were unsuccessful, more forts were built up the Charente, to protect their war factories for ships and ordinance.
“All of this justified having a cannon on their badge … but somehow Arsenal got involved and objected, even though there are 8 spokes rather than Arsenal’s 6.”
The logo still appears to be in use on their website, so perhaps the case is still ongoing, or Arsenal have not convinced the French INPI (Institute National Industrial Protection) of their claim in this case.
Still, if you think going after the logo of a second division French rugby side is a bit much, let’s not forget that the club went to court in 2011 having gone after a lady from Seville who had called her hat shop ‘Arsenale’.
Which is ludicrous. You don’t see Liverpool’s James Milliner going after hat shops do you?
Anyway, is this just standard business practice, protecting copyrights and trademarks, or a bit heavy-handed?