Ruling favours brand owners

Intellectual property lawyers have welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Justice against the stallholder Matthew Reed, who sold Arsenal products without the football club’s permission.

Bristows lawyer Andrew Lykiardopoulos says the decision prevents a ‘free-for-all of unofficial merchandise’. It will affect the merchandising industry as a whole, especially the music industry where similar ‘badge of allegiance’ defences of unauthorised trademarks could have prospered.

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