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West Brom considering trademarking ‘Albion’

By Matt Maher | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

The Baggies are assessing a proposal to trademark the word ‘Albion’ to better protect the club’s rights against producers of fake merchandise.

Hal Robson-Kanu of West Bromwich Albion cuts between Yves Bissouma and Dan Burn of Brighton.

The club are exploring their options after being invited to join Brighton’s submission to the Intellectual Property Office to copyright the word.

Burton have also been contacted by the Premier League club, who believe trademarking ‘Albion’ can help protect their commercial assets and rights from exploitation, primarily in terms of fake or unofficial merchandise, counterfeit goods or the unauthorised use of the word in football.

Chelsea and Tottenham have both been successful in trademarking words over recent years, though Liverpool failed in a similar bid, after it was deemed the club’s name had too much “geographical significance”.

Fake merchandise has long been a problem but the likelihood of significantly reduced revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic means clubs are now more likely to clamp down on those selling unofficial wares. Using trademark legislation is increasingly seen as a way in which Albion can protect their interests.

An ancient and alternative name for the island of Great Britain, the club adopted the Albion name in 1880, two years after forming as West Bromwich Strollers. Brighton included it in their name in 1901 while Burton Albion were formed in 1950. A number of non-league clubs, including Witton Albion and Tadcaster Albion, also use the name but it is not thought their rights will be affected should Brighton’s application be successful.

Chelsea were successful in trademarking their name in 2016, while Tottenham own the trademark to several words including Tottenham, Tottenham Hotspur, Spurs, White Hart Lane, THFC, To Dare Is To Do and Hotspur.

Albion are, meanwhile, urging season ticket holders to ensure their contact details are up to date with the club poised to issue details of refund options for the season’s remaining matches.

Though the Baggies appear increasingly likely to resume their Championship campaign later this month, it will only be completed behind closed doors, with supporters barred from attending the five matches still to be played at The Hawthorns.

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Fans who had purchased individual match tickets have already been refunded, while details of compensation for season ticket holders is now expected soon.

“We hope to be able to provide the full details very shortly,” said chief executive Mark Jenkins.

“Once again, I cannot stress enough just how patient and understanding our supporters have been in these difficult circumstances and how much this is appreciated within the club as we tackle this extended period without any significant income.”

Supporters can log on to wbatickets.co.uk to update their details, while further help is available by emailing tickets@wbafc.co.uk.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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