TRADE MARK
Merchandising

A Scottish Court has confirmed the approach of Mr Justice Laddie in Reed -v- Arsenal Football Club when it allowed a street trader to continue selling branded ‘Celtic’ and ‘Rangers’ associated football club goods. The defendant, Joseph Gallacher, could have faced up to 10 years in jail when he was charged with breaching the Trademarks Act 1994 by selling unlicensed merchandise. Sheriff Laura Duncan halted his trial and acquitted Gallacher, ruling he was not “infringing” by using the clubs’ logos on his gear. The Sheriff (Judge) followed the Arsenal case – where it was successfully argued that unlicensed use of the club’s crest was allowable because it was “a badge of allegiance” and not a deliberate trademark breach. Following the decision, a delighted Gallacher claimed it was “another victory for the man on the street”. He said: “I did not believe I was doing anything wrong and that has judged to have been the case. The crests are a badge of allegiance and the clubs are finding it hard to explain otherwise”. Gallacher had told the court that he sold the goods from the back of his van on match days at the Ibrox and Celtic Park stadia in Glasgow as well as supplying other traders, and had also travelled abroad whenever the clubs played in Europe. Gallacher said he made around ÿ£15,000 a year from selling the goods. Gallacher said: “I always made clear the goods were unofficial as I believed that was the proper thing to do. I never received any complaints.”
See www.eveningtimes.co.uk/hi/news/5014287.html