26 July 2019TrademarksRory O'Neill

Liverpool FC anger local clubs with TM

Liverpool FC’s move to register ‘Liverpool’ as a trademark has provoked controversy on social media from local clubs that fear the move will damage their business.

The club filed the trademark application at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on June 20, in classes 9, 16, 25, 28, 35, 38, 41, and 43, covering football-related products such as video games, clothing, and merchandise.

Liverpool FC, which in May won the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier club football competition, already owns a variety of trademarks for its logos and ‘Liverpool Football Club’.

The new mark, however, would be the club’s first for the term ‘Liverpool’.

A spokesperson for the club told the newspaper Liverpool Echo that “we are applying to register ‘Liverpool’ as a trademark but only in the context of football products and services”.

“We are not, and wouldn’t ever, seek to register ‘Liverpool’ across the board,” the club added.

City of Liverpool FC (COLFC), which plays in the Northern Premier League, in the seventh tier of England’s football pyramid, hit back at Liverpool FC on Twitter.

According to COLFC, Liverpool FC’s statement to the Echo “totally ignores the fact that Liverpool FC are not the only football club bearing the city's name”.

“By all means protect what's yours, but the name Liverpool in a football context does not belong to you,” COLFC said.

At the time of publication, a petition calling on Liverpool FC to abandon the registration has gained more than 1,500 signatures on

The petition was shared on Twitter by Peter Reid, who played for Liverpool’s cross-town rivals Everton from 1982 to 1989.

An unofficial Liverpool FC supporters' group, Spirit of Shankly (SOS), has also opposed the move on Twitter.

In a statement, SOS said that it “strongly opposes the blatant capitalisation of our football heritage”.

“After a magnificent summer of optimism and celebration for LFC, it is hard to contemplate such a controversial, ill-thought-out move by [Fenway Sports Group, owners of Liverpool FC]”.

According to Liverpool FC, which missed out on last year’s English Premier League by one point, the purpose of the registration is to protect supporters “from inauthentic products”.

Liverpool FC also consider the trademark application to be important to its sporting objectives.

The spokesperson said: “The benefits to the club to have this protection in place are to ensure all revenues from official products and services are channelled back into the club and this is reinvested into the team and supporting infrastructure.”

In May, Liverpool successfully defended two trademark registrations at the IPO after an opposition filed by Italian sportswear manufacturer Lotto Sport Italia.

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More on this story

14 May 2019   Liverpool FC has successfully defended two trademark registrations before the UK Intellectual Property Office.
30 September 2019   Liverpool FC has failed in its controversial bid to register a trademark for the name of the city with the UK Intellectual Property Office, a move which sparked anger among businesses and other local football clubs.