Arsenal wins on unofficial goods at ECJ

Arsenal Football Club has won its turf war against the sale of unofficial merchandise outside the ground, thanks to a ruling by the European Court of Justice, which could spark similar cases around the country.

Lawyer 2B reported on the case of Matthew Reed last year. Street trader Reed had been selling unofficial merchandise outside the north London foot-ball ground for 30 years. Arsenal FC claimed that his unauthorised use of its name, logo and crest violated EU rules.

Reed argued that he used the logos as badges of allegiance rather than trademarks.

The case was referred to the ECJ after the High Court refused to stop the trader.

But Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer, the ECJ’s advocate general, said the ‘badge of allegiance’ defnece strill constituted a breach of Arsenal’s rights.