from the nacho-cheer dept
We were just discussing Liverpool FC, a football club in the UK’s famous Premier League, receiving a ton of backlash from the public and other football clubs over its rather audacious attempt to trademark “Liverpool”. Now, Liverpool FC claimed that its trademark application was extremely targeted, claiming that it was geared specifically towards the football marketplace. Unfortunately, in the current protectionist trademark era, that doesn’t mean much. First, we see trademark holders threaten and sue those across marketplace borders all the time. Second, there are other football clubs in Liverpool, meaning that the trademark application represented a direct threat to their brands.
It turns out this callous attitude towards other football clubs isn’t a one-off for Liverpool FC. Recent reporting reveals that the club also has attempted, and then withdrawn, trademark applications for a popular football fan chant that doesn’t even originate with Liverpool FC fans.
Liverpool FC made an audacious attempt to trademark the popular terrace chant ‘Allez, Allez, Allez’, it has been revealed. The Reds’ owners FSG made an application to the intellectual property office to trademark the words last November, according to iNews, only to later withdraw it. ‘Allez, Allez, Allez’ has become synonymous with the Anfield faithful having adopted it last year during their run to the 2018 Champions League final.
However, Liverpool were not the first side to adopt the chant, with the song reportedly sung by fans of FC Porto as far back as 2016 and the likes of Genoa, Juventus and Napoli all coming up with their own versions. Fans of Aston Villa, Rangers, Atletico Madrid and even Cardiff City are also said to have appropriated the popular terrace chant.
Making this all the more stupid is that the chant is from a song created by an Italian band in the 80s. So, Liverpool FC fans occasionally use a fan chant appropriated by fans of other clubs, which stems from an Italian band from a few decades ago… and decided to try to trademark it?
So of course there was more fan backlash again, both before and after Liverpool FC had withdrawn its application. The real question is why the club seems to think it needs to lock up language that is generic or common across its geographic area and/or marketplace, to the detriment of everyone else?