Business Directory

Browse the Directory

Sign Up to the Directory

FC Business Twitter
FC business Linked in
FC Business facebook
FC Business Youtube

General Court Turns Down FC Barcelona's Trademark Bid

Thu 10th Dec 2015 | Legal

FC Barcelona has had its bid to register the outline of its club crest dismissed by the General Court.

The Catalan club had sought the registration of the outline of its crest as a Community trade mark

However, the General Court, which as a constituent court of the Court of Justice of the European Union, ruled: “The mark sought does not enable consumers to identify the commercial origin of the goods and services covered by the trade mark application” 

The case was brought after FC Barcelona applied to the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) for registration of a figurative sign consisting in the shape of its crest for, inter alia, stationery, clothing items and sports activities as a Community trade mark in April 2013. 

In May 2014, OHIM rejected the application for registration on the ground that the sign in question was “not liable to draw consumers’ attention to the commercial origin of the goods and services covered by the application.”

Following the initial decision Barcelona brought an action against OHIM’s decision before the General Court. 

In its judgment, the General Court confirmed that “none of the characteristics of the sign at issue contains any striking feature which is liable to attract the attention of consumers.”

The judgement also suggested that “the mark sought will rather tend to be perceived by consumers merely as a shape and will not enable them to distinguish the proprietor’s goods or services from those of other undertakings.”

The Court also observed that crests are commonly used in business for purely decorative purposes without fulfilling the function of a trade mark. 

“Consequently, the sign in question does not have the distinctive character required by the Regulation on the Community trade mark 1 for the purposes of being registered.

“The Court further observes that FC Barcelona has not succeeded in demonstrating that the sign has acquired distinctive character through its use. 

“In those circumstances, the General Court dismisses in its entirety the action brought by FC Barcelona.”


Posted by: Aaron Gourley



If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk  

To subscribe to our range of football newsletters including news, products and jobs CLICK HERE.

Add to: Google Google | Yahoo Yahoo | Live Live | del.icio.us del.icio | Digg Digg |

Related Articles

Supreme Court Rules Against Rangers in 'Big Tax Case'

Wed 5th Jul 2017 | Legal

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of HMRC over Rangers’ use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) between 2001 and 2010. In its judgement over the use of EBTs, the Supreme Court upheld...

Legal Comment: Football’s Deep Filled Problem With Gambling

Fri 24th Feb 2017 | Legal

On 20 February 2016, the FA Cup fixture between Sutton United and Arsenal turned into a media frenzy and one to remember, for all the wrong reasons. Laura McCallum, solicitor at Harper Macleod...

Manchester City Charged Over Anti-Doping Rule Breaches

Thu 12th Jan 2017 | Legal

The Football Association (The FA) have charged Manchester City for failing to ensure anti-doping officials knew where players were for drugs testing. Manchester City have been charged for failing to...

Hitchin Town Player Sacked For Abusive Tweets

Wed 4th Jan 2017 | Legal

Alfie Barker has been sacked by Hitchin Town and is under investigation by the Football Association after vile messages from his Twitter account were sent to AFC Bournemouth and Republic of Ireland...