5 April 2019Trademarks

Premier League in ‘score draw’ with gaming companies over TMs

The Premier League has suffered a blow as the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) revoked trademarks for its name and logo in relation to certain goods and services.

This came despite a partial victory for the league as it successfully opposed two marks which it said infringed its IP.

Egames Group and Esports Premier League filed to register marks for ‘Egames Premier League’ and ‘Premier Esports League’ with the UKIPO in April 2017.

The companies, which are related, sought to register the marks in class 41 covering sporting entertainment and video gaming competitions.

The Premier League cited eight earlier marks which it said covered the same goods and services.

The defendants, however, called for the Premier League to prove genuine use of its ‘Premier League’ word and logo marks (numbers 2147888 and 2422847).

In its decision, the UKIPO found that there was a likelihood of “indirect confusion” between the opposing marks. Use of the ‘844 and ‘850 marks would attract customers “on the back of” the Premier League’s reputation without any financial recompense to the league, the office said.

The UKIPO also, however, partially granted the defendants’ counterclaim to revoke the ‘Premier League’ marks with respect to certain goods and services including software apps,, CDs and DVDs.

In the ruling, the UKIPO found that the Premier League had failed to provide sufficient evidence of genuine use such as detailed sales figures for the products.

According to the judgment, the Premier League established genuine use of the word mark in relation to computer games, stickers, badges and sporting events, but revoked the mark for all other goods and services.

The UKIPO said that the league had proven genuine use of the logo mark in relation to the same goods and services except for badges.

As the case resulted in what the league said was a “score draw”, with a partial victory for both parties, the UKIPO ordered both parties to bear their own costs.

WIPR has contacted the Premier League and representatives of the defendants for comment.

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