Saturday, March 25, 2023

Arsenal force Berlin futsal team to change its name

Via ESPN comes a story of how Arsenal have forced a Berlin futsal team to change its name.

Arsenal Berlin have renamed themselves to Berlin City Futsal after objections from the club.

The article states, “Arsenal had argued that their reputation and worldwide name recognition is down to significant investment in advertising campaigns as well as on-pitch success, meaning the brand needed protection.”

The founder of Arsenal Berlin, Jorg Meinhardt, “The methods are excessive. The idea that we could have a negative influence on Arsenal’s business operations is remarkable.”

Arsenal apparently used a Hamburg based law firm to act on its behalf and it’s not the only case they’ve been involved in recently.

A French rugby club, SA XV Charente Rugby, recently formed by the merger of two other clubs, fell foul of intellectual property claims when it submitted its logo (below):

A club executive explained the first objection, saying, “Our request was refused because the Pineau des Charentes … enjoys a form of exclusivity on the word Charente, singularly and plurally, as an AOP (Designation of Protected Origin).”

However, the second objection came from Arsenal who had issues with the use of the cannon.

A local source told Arseblog News, “The club wanted to show their links to the local gunpowder factory and garrison, which were nearby, and they inherited an old boat cannon, which they fire on match-days, which has its origins in the wars against the old enemy, we British!

“The river Charente has a long history of having to defend against the British, with many forts (Boyard was one) built on the Gironde, then, because they were unsuccessful, more forts were built up the Charente, to protect their war factories for ships and ordinance.

“All of this justified having a cannon on their badge … but somehow Arsenal got involved and objected, even though there are 8 spokes rather than Arsenal’s 6.”

The logo still appears to be in use on their website, so perhaps the case is still ongoing, or Arsenal have not convinced the French INPI (Institute National Industrial Protection) of their claim in this case.

Still, if you think going after the logo of a second division French rugby side is a bit much, let’s not forget that the club went to court in 2011 having gone after a lady from Seville who had called her hat shop ‘Arsenale’.

Which is ludicrous. You don’t see Liverpool’s James Milliner going after hat shops do you?

Anyway, is this just standard business practice, protecting copyrights and trademarks, or a bit heavy-handed?

Comment below.

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afc nick

Well at least we now know what’s been keeping the board busy

Eric Blair

Looks as f they’ve been personally designing the clubs new training tops too. They should never have let Sir Chips loose with the box of felt tips.


This really should have been posted on Saturday


I still refuse to believe that hat-lady story is not a joke


That’s a bit excessive… Seriously, this is by far the smallest issue with this club at this point, especially when it comes to reputation. Though, I’d expect Gazidis to come out with further information.

Heavenly Chapecoense

The11 players damaging Arsenal reputation are not in Berlin or in Charente Maritime. Seriously, fans who are fighting are the only ones damaging Arsenal reputation. Other fans should take videos of them and they get banned from going to see games. They should report to police every weekend during game time.


What’s the date?


Also… “On pitch success”? Heh


Ah, finally some success!


I agree with the Germans about this. It is sickening corporate branding speech


Get a grip, Arsenal. There are more important battles…

Stuck on repeat...

Shame there’s not a trophy for “defending the brand”…


We’d finish 4th

Stuck on repeat...

But at least we’d get past the last 16, with a no doubt scrappy win away from home verses “The Hat Lady”…


Normal. Nothing to see here.

a different George

Well, generally, there can be a problem when the owner of a trademark fails to police it adequately. I have no idea how French law specifically deals with this–but lawyers are cautious, and would rather look foolish suing a hat shop than find out five years later that any football team in France can call itself Arsenal. Not a defense of this stupidity, just an explanation.


I hate that we do this type of thing, keep seeing stories about us going after small businesses with our money and lawyers… what’s the point, if anything it hurts our brand to be seen this way. Our owners are evil

Crash Fistfight

Exactly what I was thinking. They’re seeking to protect the brand by showing the brand to be a corporate behemoth shitting on the little guy. What a great image to uphold.

The club is becoming truly detestable outside of the football part, and that ain’t exactly a barrel of laughs at the minute!

Harish P

I thought the naming thing was a bit much, but I fully understand the logo issue, the likeness is ridiculous. The whole ‘8 spokes makes it different’ is a bit laughable. May as well have a period after the M. and paint it purple, then say it has no resemblance to McDonald’s. The whole logo looks like a knock off.


Funny, I thought that the performances on and off the field would damage their reputation rather than some poxy futsal team mocking up it’s badge.

Also, what ‘on-field’ success are they arguing?


What about all the other clubs called Arsenal around the world?
The one in Argentina comes to mind.
Not to mention there is an Ajax in South Africa.
Ludicrous to suggest a small futsal team in Berlin is taking our intellectual property.


CSKA Kiev also got renamed to Arsenal in the 90s. Though this is a bit of a common word, especially as there are army teams around the world, it seems a bit petty to go chasing them on naming issues.

Veiko Samma

I had the same question. There’s Arsenal Tula in russia and even was an Ajax in Estonian premium league a few years ago.


It’s awful, of course, but when you spend and earn fortunes on your “brand”, and then fail to aggressively defend it against the slightest possible dilution, you risk “diluting” the strength of that brand. That makes it harder to defend down the road.
Perhaps the smarter thing to do would be bring these “corner-shop”, “mom-and-pop” type infringers into the fold and grant them a license? Better PR, and sensible to my way of thinking. But what do I know? I’m not the lawyer advising the board on this!


Small operations, or orgs that bring in no income, probably can’t offer anything in the way of a fee to make the license worth the Arsenal’s investment in such a deal. If they could, then we might expect them to come to the table with such a proposal themselves. The other parties–who are trying to get something of the club for nothing in the first place–may not even have the resources to enter into or manage a licensing arrangement. Such licenses could make other deals less lucrative, too. But they would represent some of the same risks to the club… Read more »

Andre Kelley

Licensing would probably bring a whole new set of problems with quality control. You could solve the problem of dilution but create a problem of potential “badwill” coming from the licensee behaviour.

Colin Dent

Good job they haven’t cottoned on to the covertly named Arseblog yet 🙂


There’s also an Arsenal Tula in the Russian Premiership, I won’t be surprised if we go on to disrupt them next, what a waste of time

Alfraythe Lost

“significant investment in advertising campaigns” but not on players “as well as on-pitch success” did I miss something?,


You must have, though it seems odd someone who follows the Arsenal would.


What about the Arsenal in Kiev, or the one in SA. There’s a Liverpool in SA too, a Chelsea in Australia.


The club is probably right by trademark law to do so in both cases. My knowledge in the area is limited but more than a lay person’s, so I’ll offer my insights using principles of US law. First, re the futsol team, there is also the possiblity of mistaken identity. If someone thinks that club is associateed with the Arsenal or represents the Arsenal, then they could do damage tot he club’s reputation. The club has a right not to be associted with that futsol team by enforcing laws to prevent it from trading on Arsenal’s name. “We don’t know… Read more »


Re the cannon on shield, that image is probably protected by trademark and copyright laws. The rugby team probably falls afoul of each.


If only Arsenal could just call in the lawyers after every bad result…


…or broken leg.

Lula da Gilberto

Well this is a productive use of everyone’s time and resources.


That showed them.


It’s certainly good to see us finally competing with the old Bayern at last. Keep up the good work fellas.


I think there’s an Arsenal in Argentina as well. I would consider that other teams in other countries calling themselves Arsenal would be a compliment. Let’s not concern ourselves with such nit picking. Let’s help them instead.

David Dubery

Totally ludicrous & compelling evidence that our club is in the wrong hands…

Laughing Stock of Football

Nothing surprises me any more with this pathetic entity that used to be our club

David Dubery

Totally ludicrous & yet more compelling evidence that our club is in the wrong hands.


Arsenal’s legal department has nothing to do with how the team is playing, they have a job and it’s taking care of stuff like this. Don’t misplace your anger saying that there are more important things to do. To each his responsibility and this clearly is the legal team’s.

Also, if you’d have a brand you would protect it too.

Also, cheer up FFS

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