But the UK’s intellectual property office refused the club’s application because Liverpool has “geographical significance.” In other words, the name of the city is about much more than its famous soccer club. LFC says it accepts the decision, but will “aggressively pursue those large-scale operations which seek to illegally exploit our intellectual property.” As with all coveted brands, there are plenty of counterfeiters.

Some of the team’s own fans were upset by the attempt to trademark their hometown’s name. The city of Liverpool has two important soccer institutions, of more or less equal importance to the area. Although Everton Football Club is not doing too well at the moment, it too has a proud and successful history, and is deeply engrained in the psyche of Liverpudlians. And for millions of Beatles fans, Liverpool will always be more closely associated with John, Paul, George, and Ringo than a soccer team.

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