In 2001 an experimental alternative to the NFL was launched by Vince McMahon: the XFL. The XFL hosted fewer teams, promising quicker games and greater entertainment. The XFL lasted just one season before collapsing due to significant financial losses. In 2018, McMahon revived the league with a planned restart date in 2020. Fast forward to January 2021 and the picture for the XFL remains bleak, it having lasted only 5 weeks before collapsing due to financial pressures linked to COVID 19. Dwayne Johnson and his associates now own the league and another restart is scheduled for the 2022 season.
Manchester United FC has initiated trade mark infringement proceedings in the High Court against SEGA Publishing Europe Limited, the European arm of the Japanese video-game brand, and Sports Interactive Limited, producers of the video game Football Manager®. The game Football Manager® has been around since 1992 and is a hugely successful football management simulation video game. Players can manage their own virtual equivalents of real life clubs, controlling everything from pre-season transfers to the tactics on the pitch.
Reddie & Grose’s Brighton-based trade mark attorneys report on the most recent football team trade mark application to catch the headlines. Brighton and Hove Albion FC (‘BHAFC’) have caused a bit of a stir in the press and among some of their fans by applying to register ALBION and THE ALBION as UK trade marks. The concern is that BHAFC have unjustly laid claim to an ancient name for the British Isles and that this move will cause problems for the many local businesses that also use the word ALBION. We love seeing the mainstream press pay attention to trade mark applications, but in this case fans need not worry about BHAFC overstepping the mark with their trade mark protection.
Technology is generally regarded as the creation of something to improve one or more aspects of the world we live in. However, in the world of football (or soccer if you hail from North America), the introduction of video assisted refereeing is prompting many to question whether technology is actually ruining, instead of improving, the so-called ‘beautiful game’. Some of the most recent criticism has come from English football, which saw the introduction of video assisted refereeing to the hugely popular Premier League in August 2019.
Hot off their memorable 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League Final this summer, Liverpool FC thought it wise to bolster their brand protection to stop others from also benefiting from their success by selling imitation products. And rightly so, but it seems Liverpool FC might have been a little too ambitious in what they thought they could protect as their ‘brand’.