Oxford United apply for trademark for official merchandise
13 April 2016
Fans of Oxford United Football Club could soon be buying Oxford United watches, toothpicks, pet blankets and more strangely lingerie, after the club registered its name as a trademark.
If the trademark ‘Oxford United’ is approved it would prevent anyone else from selling many different types of merchandise under the club’s name.
The trademark was published on 5th February at the Intellectual Property Office but could take a while for the result as someone has objected. If approved the trademark will last 10 years until the club need to renew it.
Oxford United’s Head of Retail, Peter Lee joined the club at the start of the season and stated it was always the plan to protect the club’s brand. He went on to say “It was something we started looking at from the beginning of the season – with any organisation you have to protect your assets. From the start of next season we will be looking to improve what we offer at the club shop and we will hopefully be in League One. There’s a major opportunity there for the club in terms of retail – the good times are coming.”
Peter Lee also stated that another club were selling Oxford United merchandise at the Swansea City FA Cup game and they were unable to stop them which shows the importance of registering your company name and merchandise as a trademark.
He said “When you get successful, people start trying to bootleg you. This is not a massive club in terms of money and it’s all about making sure it all goes back into the club.”
Michael Downing of Intellectual Property Company, Downing IP expresses the importance of protecting your company brand. “These brands are important assets of the business, and the club is totally right to protect itself in this way. It’s also really important to make sure you cover all the goods that are of bona fide interest to you. In fact, when you file a trade mark application, you state that the applicant either is using the mark on the goods & services applied for, or has a bona fide intention to do so. That being so, I'm sure the fans of Oxford United are looking forward to the sale of team-branded lingerie…”