Friday, February 22, 2013

St Andrews - Your Final Bid Is?

The couple of you who read this blog can often be forgiven for thinking that we only tilt at the windmilll of VisitScotland but that's really not true. We're really just pretty much anti-establishment full stop!!

So here's Friday's rant... and the target is the much loved custodians of the Links golf courses in St Andrews known as the Links Trust St Andrews.

There are many in the golf industry who think that their management of prime times at Scotland's golfing jewel has been less than fair and open and indeed detrimental to the local and national economy but it's not the selling of extortionately priced Old Course tee times through exclusive distributors that we're hitting on today.

We've been sent an email linking to te publication of the following trademark request.

Yes that's right. St. Andrews Links Ltd have applied to trademark the name of ST ANDREWS and you can view the full application here

Now if I was a business in St Andrews, or the council, or involved in golf, or tourism or lived in Scotland or ever had a sniff of whisky I would be looking at this link with incredulity and asking how can anyone take intellectual property rights and trademark over the name of our bloody patron saint!!!

They have applied to trademark the name across almost every imagineable activity!! Here's the list of areas they wish to protect for their own use:

Prerecorded CDs, CD-ROMs relating to golf; computer games software; computer and video game cartridges; computer game software for hand-held units for playing video games; video tapes, laser discs and DVDs featuring golfing activities, the sport of golf and the history of golf. Jewellery; watches; cases for watches.Class Publications, namely, books and magazines relating to golf and sport; calendars; photographs, mounted and unmounted; stationery; printed score cards; printed instructional and teaching material on the subject of golf; printed golf course guides, posters; maps; prints; pictorial prints; photographic prints. Golf umbrellas; luggage. Drinking glasses; decanters; coasters not of paper.Golf towels. Golf balls; golf clubs; divot repair tools; head covers for golf clubs; golf bags. Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.Arranging and conducting tours and trips; Arranging, organizing, and conducting tours and trips in the field of golf. Hotel and restaurant reservation services; Hotel, restaurant and bar services; Hotels; Resort hotels; Resort lodging service. Health spa services for health and wellness of the body and spirit offered at a health resort; Health spa services, namely, cosmetic body care services.


Now once again, just so we're clear they wish to TRADEMARK the name St Andrews!

Dare I be so bold to suggest St Andrews Links Trust that you should have NO CHANCE. 

To those of us unsure of copyrights issues and trademark law it just seems completely Unbloodylievable and stinks of complete and utter organisational arrogance.

So what should you do? Well we could publish the email address of the Links Trust and it would probably take down their servers so we wont! 

In our humble opinion St Andrews Links Ltd should just do the decentt thing and withdraw their application but I guess that is not likely. So here's how it goes and the rules of engagement set out on the IPO website where the application has been published and if anyone wishes to oppose it please get in touch.

Opposition Proceedings

What is opposition? 

When a trade mark application has successfully completed the examination process it is accepted and published in the on-line Trade Marks Journal. It is then open to any third party (an opponent) to oppose its registration on either absolute and/or relative grounds. It is possible to oppose the entire application or the registration of the mark for only some of the goods and services.

What are absolute grounds?

The absolute grounds cover defects in the trade mark itself. The most common reasons for opposing a trade mark application is that the trade mark is descriptive of the goods and/or services for which it is to be registered, or that it is generic for those goods/services, or otherwise non-distinctive and should therefore be free for everyone in that line of trade to use.

What are relative grounds?

Relative grounds means that there exists an earlier trade mark or earlier right (which does not have to be registered) owned by the opponent with which the applicant‟s trade mark would conflict if it were used. Who can oppose a trade mark application?

Anyone can oppose the application on absolute grounds but only the proprietor of an earlier trade mark or earlier right may oppose on relative grounds. 

When can opposition be filed? 

There is an initial two month opposition period beginning with the date of the publication of the trade mark in the Trade Marks Journal.

How can I oppose a trade mark application and what does it cost? 

If you want to oppose the registration of a trade mark then you must file a TM7
Notice of opposition and statement of grounds' accompanied by a £200 fee.
Guidance notes on how to fill in the form are available from the web site at:

In our opinion it would

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