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Arsenal Football Club v Reed

[2003] EWCA Civ 696

Case summary last updated at 01/02/2020 18:27 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Arsenal Football Club v Reed

D sold merchandise from a stall near Arsenal’s football ground; these goods contained a number of Arsenal’s trade marks which were registered for same goods. Was a notice on D’s stall, stating that his goods were not ‘official’ Arsenal merchandise. C sued for infringement under Section 10(1) (identical goods and identical marks). Held:
·       Use of mark is in course of sale of goods to consumers
Ø  Thus is not for descriptive purposes
Ø  Rather it creates impression of ‘link’ between C and D.
·       Exclusion notice is irrelevant
Court of Appeal
·       Is possible for use of a trade mark which is not understood by public to denote origin to be infringement.
·       This case where origin function of trade mark is liable to be harmed by D’s use.
·       Thus on facts, is infringement
Ø  Is irrelevant that sign is perceived as badge of loyalty and not origin

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