June 2019. After Tottenham, another victory for Liverpool. On 8 May the UK football club won a legal kick-off against sports clothing and accessories company Lotto Sport Italia. Lotto had filed an opposition to two applications by the club to register the Liverpool image mark in the UK.

Liverpool and Lotto have been locked in a trademark war


Lotto Sport Italia claimed that the Liverpool trademark (below right), which was applied for a wide range of products such as cosmetics, jewellery and clothing, was too similar to its own well-known logo (left).

Left: the well-known, existing Lotto logo, and right: the image mark Liverpool applied to register

Square vs diamond

The UK Intellectual Property Office UKIPO however disagreed. Although both trademarks cover the same types of product, UKIPO didn’t feel there was any risk of confusion. Consumers buying clothing in particular tend to look closely at the trademarks on such items, and would notice the differences. Moreover, Lotto’s trademark would primarily be seen as two overlapping squares with a hole in the middle, whereas Liverpool’s looks more like two interlocking diamonds. So, no infringement, resulting in a score of Liverpool 1 – Lotto 0.

Bas Kist