Unprofessional Foul


September 9, 2011

Alicia Simon Will Never Again Mess with the Awesome Power that is Arsenal FC

Mira… Son Sombreritas

Trademark scofflaw and international rogue Alicia Simon has finally gotten her comeuppance. And it’s about damn time.

Simon, as probably almost none of you were aware, ran a hat shop in Seville (that’s in Spain, for those of you who are truly stupid and unworldly, it’s also ‘Sevilla’ for the part of the world that doesn’t force the anglicanization of names onto foreign cities). Where were we?

Oh yeah. Hats. Senorita Simon named her supposed ‘hat shop’ Arsenale. She registered the name even prior to opening the store in 2007. And it’s apparently been the target of legal action from Arsenal FC ever since.

Simon says she has no knowledge of the sport of football and that the name Arsenale has other connotations besides football, which she apparently knows nothing about.

“Simon named her shop after the Italian word ‘arsenale’, which was the name given to the shipbuilders’ yards in medieval Pisa and Venice. Her premises are in Seville’s Arenal de Sevilla district, where Seville’s ancient shipyards were located – hence her choice of the name.”

Anyway because her store fell under the rubric of “clothes, hats and shoes”, Arsenal FC were successful in convincing the patent and trademark office in Spain that there was the risk of confusion, and thus the infringement.

So, yeah. Arsenal won something. A court case. Against a tiny shopkeeper in Spain. Do we get a trophy for that.

While we’re sympathetic to Simon, as long as Arsenal aren’t winning shit, then you could make a convincing argument that the football team then exists to sell shirts and stuff. So maybe.

Okay, not really.

Simon is appealing the decision to a Madrid tribunal. In the meantime she should hire people to work on her SEO.

About the Author

Precious Roy


  1. hockalees

    ManUtd is also suing her for patent infringement and is threatening to close her purse store, “Douchebags”

  2. BG

    Building a multi-million dollar professional football club over a period of more than a century is a very expensive, roundabout way to establish a retail clothing company, isn’t it?

  3. Precious Roy

    BG: Is it?

  4. it’s almost like there was a bee in Arsenal’s bonnet.

  5. Yes, we’re all laughing, but if this was allowed, then anyone could sell red shirts with white sleeves that say “Arsenal” and maybe even have a little cannon logo. The club has an exclusive right to the use of the word “Arsenal” on clothing. But I did not know UK Copyright holds leverage in Spain. This suggests that Arsenal football club already registered a copyright of their name in Spain or in the entire EU and thus the word cannot appear on any other clothing, including hats.

    Think about this, I know absolutely nothing about baseball, but could I open a T-Shirt shop called “New York Yankees” and sell T-Shirts with that phrase printed on them? Obviously it is a copyright violation, even though New York is just the name of a city and “Yankees” is a common everyday word referring to residents of the northeastern USA. Doesn’t matter, it is trademarked.

    You can’t make a T-Shirt that says “That’s Hot” without paying royalties to Paris Hilton, she copyrighted the phrase, I kid you not. So why is “Arsenale” any different?

  6. BG

    So they should sue Arsenal de Sarandi in Argentina, too. That’s obviously infringement.

  7. Precious Roy

    Prof: The law is there to protect infringement and losses because of confusion in the marketplace. I don’t see how anyone buying a hat from Alicia Simon would think they are buying something associated with the club. I understand companies protecting their marks (you can actually lose it if you don’t), but this strikes me as absurd on the part of the club and anything they might have gained in a legal sense has been more than negatively offset in a PR sense.

  8. If Arsenal was into designing and fashioning designer millinery, I could see this being an issue. But, as far as I can tell, the hat milieu at Arsenal is limited to baseball caps and beanies, with either “Arsenal”, “AFC”, or the club crest on it. The confusion would be limited and this reeks of lawyers overlawyering something. Also, I’m a lawyer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>