Further to last quarter's edition, Liverpool Football Club has now withdrawn its application to the UK Intellectual Property Office to register the iconic image of the Liver bird, which adorns the Club's crest on the Club strip and other merchandise, as a trade mark.

The Club already has trade marks in respect of "This is Anfield" and "You'll Never Walk Alone".

The origins of the mythical Liver bird are the subject of much debate and speculation but Liverpool County Council made it clear that they view the Liver bird as belonging to the people of Liverpool and were exploring submitting an opposition to the application.

In assessing whether a trademark should be granted, a key test is whether there is likely to be confusion in the mind of consumers or whether this particular image of the Liver bird has acquired distinctiveness - i.e. that the relevant public, in this case primarily football fans, will associate the mark with the Club.

The fact that Liverpool FC have been using the image for a considerable period of time could have supported an argument that it has acquired distinctiveness. On the other hand, it could be argued that the mark is not distinctive due to a likely conceptual association of liver birds with the city of Liverpool (or its council) regardless of the fact that the actual images used are different.

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