Page 1 of 1

Old Arsenal cannon

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:25 pm
by SteveP

Before I chase an idea, I'd like to establish whether the old Arsenal cannon (circa 1978 to 1989) is under copyright or can it be used commercially?

Any advice gratefully received.

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:34 am
by AndyJ
Hi Steve,

I assume that the cannon you are interested in is the one featured in this logo: Image

Although the history of Arsenal's badges and logos is fairly well documented (eg here and here) I have no idea who actually designed that particular crest. This is important because copyright protection lasts for the lifetime of the artist plus 70 years from the end of the year of death. Therefore, irrespective of whether the crest is still in use, copyright in it is likely to run for many years yet.

Furthermore, the image above is taken from the IPO's registered trade mark database and that particular mark will remain on the register until September 2017, although of course it could be re-registered by the club before then. This means that the logo, including the cannon part, is doubly protected by copyright and as a trade mark.

Much the same will apply to any other recent(ish) version of the crest, such as this one:Image

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:54 am
by SteveP
Thanks for the reply, Andy.

It's actually just the cannon - worn on the shirts prior to the badge shown in your reply.

Thanks again.

Re: Old Arsenal cannon

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:56 pm
by hobbsy88
My limited understanding was that the reason the club introduced the new crest was because they had been unsuccessful in registering the copyright in the old crest and cannon, in particular. There had been may lawsuits with traders near the ground who were selling unofficial merchandise featuring the cannon. The old logo can be used by unofficial vendors products. Are you now saying that the club own the copyright and trademark in the old crest (including the cannon) and presumably would therefore enforce their right against any perceived infringer? What changed?

Re: Old Arsenal cannon

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:32 pm
by AndyJ
Hi hobbsy,

Thanks for your contribution. Copyright doesn't need to be registered in order to become effective. Unless the artist who drew the original crest shown above died more than 70 years ago, copyright will still exist in it. The trade mark aspect is subject to registration (and renewal every 10 years) and as it happens, since my earlier reply, that particular trade mark registration has been renewed and runs until 2027.

You referred to an earlier court case about the sale of unofficial Arensal memorabilia. You probably mean the case known as Arsenal Football Club v Matthew Reed. Although Mr Reed won at first instance, the Court of Appeal reversed that decision and so Arsenal FC was able to enforce its trade marks. As far as I can recall, the issue of copyright was not raised in that litigation.

Re: Old Arsenal cannon

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:58 pm
by hobbsy88
Thanks for the clarification, AndyJ. The long and the short of it seems to be that the copyright interest may or may not be asserted by the original designer if he or she is still on the scene, but Arsenal Football Club have trademarked the crest (including the cannon) and would undoubtedly take steps to prevent any unauthorised use of the mark. So, using the old 1970s cannon in a merchandise venture would be asking for trouble. Good to know.