Last month we reported that Liverpool FC had applied for UK trade mark protection over the word LIVERPOOL and was facing potential backlash (by way of oppositions) by members of the community residing in Liverpool should the applications have been accepted by the UK Intellectual Property Office.

The club has now confirmed that its application covering a wide range of different goods and services has been rejected by the UK IP Office, most likely on the basis that it is a well-known geographic location. The club has announced that it has decided to accept this and no longer pursue this trade mark protection. Over the last month Liverpool FC has drawn negative attention from independent traders, local football clubs as well as even the local Mayor of Liverpool for seeking to monopolize the geographic location name LIVERPOOL. However our checks of the public records at the UK IP Office have revealed that the application was not simply rejected in its entirety. There appear to have been some items that were accepted for registration in the original application (including clothing, software and toys), which have now been siphoned off into a new ‘divisional’ application. Divisional applications allows marks to proceed for the accepted goods without prejudicing the original application. It is noteworthy that since this divisional application was accepted, there have been over 50 separate lodgements from various companies and people noting their intention to oppose the trade mark. 

Liverpool FC’s CEO, Peter Moore, commented, “It should be stressed that our application was put forward in good faith and with the sole aim of protecting and furthering the best interests of the club and its supporters. Nevertheless, we accept the decision and the spirit in which it has been made”.