Liverpool FC has applied to trademark the word ‘Liverpool’ in the context of football products and services.
A club spokesperson told SportBusiness the club is not seeking a monopoly over the word, and that it had made the application to prevent counterfeiters from using it to impersonate the team and confuse consumers.
“We are applying to register ‘Liverpool’ as a trade mark 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 spokesperson said.
“This application is strictly to protect the club and supporters from those benefitting from inauthentic products. 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.”
The club is not the first to trademark its name in this way. In 2016 Chelsea FC trademarked its name for use on all clothing items to try to prevent unofficial merchandise sellers and protect its brand. At the time traders selling unofficial friendship scarves carrying the club’s name were given three matches by the local council to sell off their existing stock before facing punishment.
Liverpool has had its own problems with counterfeit products. In 2017, the club launched a cut-price version of its new home kit in China in a bid to prevent fans from buying cheap counterfeit alternatives. The cheaper strip was not available to fans in the UK.
It is understood the trademark application with the UK Intellectual Property Office would not prevent firms from using the word “Liverpool” in relation to the city in a genuine way.