EXCLUSIVE: Falkirk bid to save club badge trademark

Falkirk FC badge adorns the Falkirk Stadium. Picture Michael Gillen.
Falkirk FC badge adorns the Falkirk Stadium. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk football club officials were last night hurriedly trying to tie up the trademark on the club’s logo.

The crest, used on all club memorabilia and synonymous with the Bairns, was discovered to be a ‘dead’ trademark by The Falkirk Herald yesterday (Wednesday).

The iconic badge, of a steeple silhouette over a football with the word ‘Falkirk’ beneath, was registered in 2006 but its 10-year protection expired in 2016 according to the official government register.

It states the trademark registered to the Stadium address was ‘dead’ on July 6 last year, having been ‘removed’ six months after its expiry on June 30, 2016. It is one of two trademarks associated with the club. The other remains active and is an almost identical ‘Falkirk Academy’ crest.

Last night the Bairns were hurriedly trying to establish the paper trail and re-inforce their legal rights to the badge.

A statement from the club said: “The club has been made aware of this administrative error and are currently making enquiries with regards to this.

“We fully intend to have the trademark reinstated at the earliest opportunity and are working on doing so at present.”

The issue came to light after a warning on social media from chief executive Craig Campbell, directing a fan of the team to cease using the badge on merchandise or risk legal action. It is understood the supporter had been incorporating the logo within designs on t-shirts and the rebuke has opened up a can of worms and legal wrangle over the rights to the badge.

According to the register, from the government’s intellectual property office, the trademark over the Bairns’ previous badge, similar to the current ball and steeple with a different pattern, circular surround and the term “Est. 1876” went out of use in 2005. It was the second club badge of the Bairns. The first depicted a ‘Highlander’ style character on a shield and included the town motto ‘Touch Ane - Touch A’ as seen on the 1957 cup winners’ blazers.

Football club badges have thrown up legal difficulties in the recent past, for different reasons.

Ayr United were forced to apply to the Court of the Lord Lyon to redraw their club badge in 2015 and Airdrie also fell foul of ancient legislation surrounding their club logo. St Mirren and Kilmarnock also had to alter their badges in the 1990s after falling foul of rules.