July 2017. The Wembley Football Club, which has its home in the neighbourhood of Wembley in London, is to lose the European registration of its logo following an objection from the owner of Wembley Stadium.
Left, the football club’s logo, right the Wembley Stadium (photo Shutterstock)
When in 2012 the semi-professional club had applied for a European trademark registration for their logo, they appear to have caught Wembley Stadium napping. Because although the latter owned the oldest European rights to the name ‘Wembley’, it missed the opportunity to file an opposition to the registration. Which is how the football club acquired its European trademark.
But anyone who misses an opposition period can always bring cancellation proceedings against a trademark that has already been registered. Which the stadium successfully did. On 10 July, the Cancellation Division of the European Trademark Office duly ruled that the footballers’ logo infringed the older rights of the stadium, and cancelled the registration.
All’s not lost
It’s always advisable to keep a watchful eye on any new European trademark applications, and if a new trademark looks too much like your own, file an opposition to it early on. But if you’ve missed the boat for some reason, then all is not lost. There are always the cancellation proceedings to fall back on.