Yahoo! reported this morning that Arsenal FC have won a court case to force Alicia Simon, the owner of a hat shop called Arsenale in Seville, Spain to change the name of her shop to something else that doesn't infringe upon their trademark.
Um, Arsenal? Guys? Um...WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
I read this this morning and have since waited four hours for some kind of confirmation that it's a hoax, because frankly, this is exactly the kind of thing that Arsenal FC do NOT need to be spending resources to address right now. Or ever. Setting aside any discussion of corporate ethics and legal details:
- This is a tiny hat shop in a city hundreds of miles from London.
- This is a terrible, terrible PR move that has backfired all over twitter today, from a club whose PR moves have been less-than-great over the past few months in many instances.
- This is just seriously petty. It's bullying.
The fact that the name "Arsenal" is trademarked is really strange, anyway. The club certainly didn't make up the word. And one could easily, EASILY, make the claim that Ms. Simon has a much better case for the name:
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 [El] Arenal de Sevilla district, where Seville's ancient shipyards were located - hence her choice of the name.
Shipyards in an ancient Spanish port beat a football club founded in 1886. If it matters.
This is just stupid, Arsenal. This case makes us all look like freaking jerks. Drop the ruling, let it go. Let Ms. Simon sell her hats in peace. There is no way she is doing the club ANY harm.