Things that show modern football is soooooo wrong.

8 09 2011

Number 568 – Football clubs discover the joys of litigation. In this case Arsenal;

“Arsenal have finally earned their first win of the season, but it’s not an on-pitch victory: the club has won a court case in Spain forcing the owner of a hat shop to change the name of her premises.

The Gunners have won their case against Seville resident Alicia Simon, who has now been told by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office to change the name of her hat shop ‘Arsenale’.

Simon registered the name of her shop before she even opened it in 2007 despite protestations from the club, but Arsenal’s lawyers have been petitioning the Spanish authorities ever since, trying to convince them that she has infringed their trademark.”

The stunned shopkeeper, who admits to having no knowledge of football, pointed out that her shop does not even share the same spelling or pronunciation as the English football club, and that it is a word which carries “more connotations of culture than sport”.

But despite the apparent ridiculousness of their case, Arsenal have now successfully persuaded the Spanish authorities that there was a “risk of confusion” between the monolithic English football club and the tiny hat shop.

Simon named her shop after the Italian word ‘arsenale’, which was the name given to the shipbuilders’ yards in medieval Pisa and Venice. Her premises are in Seville’s Arenal de Sevilla district, where Seville’s ancient shipyards were located – hence her choice of the name.

Her shop concentrates on selling her self-designed hats, but she also sells shoes – bringing her under the umbrella of “clothes, hats and shoes” as seen by the patent and trademark office, and thus causing the infringement.

Simon has no intention of backing down, however: despite admitting that she feels in a ‘David v Goliath’ situation, she will not change the name of her shop and has already appealed the decision – thanks to a pair of friends who are lawyers – to a Madrid tribunal which will have the final say.

“I will fight this to the end,” she insists.

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