Liverpool FC in IP dispute with Red Slopes Soccer
Liverpool FC have filed a lawsuit in the US against Red Slopes Soccer, alleging infringement regarding their infamous trademark, the Liverpool Crest.
Liverpool FC entered into an agreement with Red Slopes Soccer in an attempt to outsource some of their youth training programmes to the US. An agreement was signed, which involved Liverpool FC lending Red Slopes a sum of $73,000 to assist with preliminary costs and allowing Red Slopes the right to sublicense the Liverpool FC trademarks.
Red Slopes defaulted the loan, consequently Liverpool FC terminated the before mentioned agreement. Despite this, Red Slopes continued to use the Liverpool FC trademarks and logos. This lead to Liverpool FC sending a cease and desist letter to Red Slopes.
In response, Red Slopes sued the football club, claiming that they would face ‘irreparable harm’ if they were to stop using Liverpool FC’s trade marks in the middle of the football season. This was resolved in an interim settlement that allowed the Red Slopes to continue to use the intellectual property until the end of the season.
Despite the settlement, “Red Slopes continues to market itself as an affiliate of Liverpool FC and has done so in violation of the Red Slopes Agreement.” This included sending out promotional materials that were in conflict with Liverpool FC’s brand guidelines without permission.
Liverpool is seeking an injunction and damages against Red Slopes.
By India Busson, a student at Bournemouth University