What is Brand Protection?
A brand may be described as a distinguishing mark, logo, slogan, name or word which seeks to distinguish products and services from others on the market. A brand is used to identify the origin of a person’s products and services. SAFC owns an extensive portfolio of trade marks, including the current club crest and the old “ship” crest. We also own the copyright in a wide variety of publications, including the content of this website.
Brand protection describes the actions that we take to protect our brand from exploitation by individuals or companies who seek to use our intellectual property (trade marks and copyright) without our permission.
How do people exploit our brand?
The most obvious example is the production of counterfeit goods by individuals or companies, who manufacture fake goods which imitate SAFC’s products (e.g. playing kits) and then deceive consumers into thinking that such goods are legitimate SAFC products. Others choose to illegally manufacture products which do not imitate legitimate SAFC products but do incorporate our intellectual property without our approval.
Brand exploitation can also relate to services, not just products. Some individuals or companies may try and deceive their customers that the services they provide are endorsed or authorised by SAFC when that may not, in fact, be the case.
Why protect our brand?
We take the protection of our intellectual property very seriously and strive to protect the good name and reputation of SAFC.
It is extremely important to us to protect our fans from counterfeit products and services which have not been subject to our high standards of quality control. We are aware that counterfeit products are often made from substandard materials and can therefore be faulty or even cause injury to consumers. In addition proceeds from the sale of counterfeit merchandise can often be used to support criminal activity such as drug trafficking or terrorism.
We use every effort to ensure that our fans are not deceived into innocently funding such illegal activity, and are equally keen to ensure that anyone buying products which incorporate our intellectual property can be assured that those products are legitimate and of the highest quality.
How do we protect our brand?
Our legal team work closely with the Premier League, Trading Standards and the police to ensure that our brand is protected all over the world. Our aim is to ensure that all counterfeit goods and services are taken off the market and the individual or company responsible is prosecuted if necessary.
In addition, we only licence the use of our intellectual property to reputable organisations which have the same high quality standards as us, such as some of our sponsors and official partners. Anyone who is authorised to use our intellectual property must do so in strict accordance with the licence terms to ensure proper use of our brand.
How can you help?
As a fan, you can play an important role in helping tackle the problem of the illegal exploitation of the SAFC brand. If you become aware of any counterfeit activity around the stadium, in the shops or online please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email will be treated in strict confidence and will only be shared with our legal team, and the relevant enforcement agencies.