In the world of football, where goals are celebrated and victories are cherished, a new kind of match has kicked off in the legal arena.
Manchester City are finding themselves in a spot of bother, and it’s not due to an offside call or a controversial red card.
No, this time it’s the global fashion giant Superdry stepping onto the pitch with a legal ball, aiming for a trademark goal against the Citizens.
The fashion face-off began when Superdry filed a High Court claim against Manchester City, alleging trademark infringement over the placement of the Asahi sponsorship logo on the club’s training and pre-match apparel.
Asahi, the Japanese alcohol brand, made a splash on City’s kits in July 2023, adding a touch of oriental flair to the reigning Premier League champions.
However, it seems the stylized ‘Asahi Super Dry 0.0%’ caught the attention of the fashion powerhouse.
According to Superdry, the differences between Asahi’s stylization and their own brand are so minuscule that they might slip by the average consumer unnoticed.
In a move reminiscent of a last-minute goal attempt, Superdry has requested an “injunction to restrain” Manchester City from using its name on the contested kits.
The UK-based fashion label is not just looking for a win; they are also reportedly pursuing costs, though the exact financial magnitude of the claim remains a mystery.
Founded in 2003, Superdry has become a global fashion force, boasting over 515 locations across 46 countries.
With three stores in Greater Manchester alone, it seems the fashion giant is not willing to let their brand be kicked around like a stray football.
In papers filed in London on December 15th, Superdry officially entered the legal match, accusing Manchester City of breaching a trademark that has stood for two decades.
As the legal match progresses, it remains uncertain how much of a financial penalty Man City might face if found guilty.
The trial date is expected to unfold around August, making it a summer showdown for both parties. Since the legal suit emerged, eagle-eyed fans may have noticed a subtle change in the Asahi branding on City’s kits.
The once elaborate ‘Asahi Super Dry 0.0%’ has been streamlined to a simpler ‘Asahi 0.0%’, suggesting that adjustments are already in motion to mitigate the legal storm.
So, as football enthusiasts eagerly await the outcome of this unexpected legal fixture, one thing is for sure: the pitch isn’t the only place where Manchester City is facing competition.
It seems the battle for trademark supremacy has taken the beautiful game to a whole new level – the courtroom. Let the fashion face-off continue!