Football Trade Directory

Bury AFC win legal battle against Steve Dale

Bury AFC have won their legal battle to prevent current Bury FC owner Steve Dale trademarking the Bury FC badge in his name.

In July 2020, the Bury FC owner applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to register a trade mark containing the crest of Bury FC and which included the town of Bury’s coat of arms.

The club has battle constant financial problems over the last few years, which reached a peak when a deal with owner Mr Dale to sell the club to another party fell through in August 2019, leading to the EFL ejecting the historic Shakers from the Football League.

In November last year, Mr Dale placed the club into administration.

Former fans of the Shakers set up a new club called Bury AFC, who were given a place in North West Counties League Division One North last season and play at Radcliffe's Stainton Park.

Mr Dale’s made an application to register the trade mark personally in his own name September 2020, but his efforts were immediately opposed by the new club who polled its members on the move with 99 per cent of the 600 who responded voting in favour of pursuing a formal objection.

A spokesperson for Bury AFC said: "Given the support of the membership and the Council, we instructed specialist sport and intellectual property lawyers who, due to their connection to Bury as fans and residents, offered their services at a substantially discounted rate.

"Our legal team filed a formal opposition to Mr Dale’s application. It was ultimately decided by the tribunal of the IPO, having considered submissions filed on our behalf that the opposition should succeed and Mr Dale’s application to register the trade mark should fail. This decision was communicated to us and Mr Dale last week.

"This result represents a significant victory for all Bury fans and the town of Bury as its means that the crest and coat of arms will not be owned by Mr Dale.

"We would like to thank Bury Council for their support of our opposition as well as our solicitor David Seligman, his team at Brandsmiths and barrister Charlotte Blythe of Hogarth Chambers."

The phoenix club polled its members on the move by the controversial Shakers owner with 99 per cent of the 600 who responded voting in favour of pursuing a formal objection.

As part of its set-up, the community benefit society puts all decisions of this nature to its membership, with legal options being explored.

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