Arsenal force Spanish hat shop to change name | inside World Soccer

Arsenal force Spanish hat shop to change name

[Friday, September 09, 2011 ]

Arsenal have registered their first win of the season, but off the field, after the Premier League club successfully won a legal battle over a Spanish hat lady.

Alicia Simon - The owner of 'Arsenale' shop in Spain
Alicia Simon - The owner of 'Arsenale' shop in Spain

The Gunners have won their case against Alicia Simon, a Seville resident who has now been forced by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office to change the name of her shop "Arsenale".

Ms Simon registered the name of her shop before she even opened it in 2007 and has faced litigation from the North London club ever since.

"Imagine my surprise when I received it," Ms Simon told Spanish newspaper ABC de Sevilla. "I'm no football fan nor do I care in the slightest about the game."

The shop is named after the Italian word arsenale, which was the name given to the shipbuilders' yards in medieval Pisa and Venice, while her establishment is situated in Seville's Arenal de Sevilla district.

Ms Simon sells self-designed hats along with shoes and it is this that provided Arsenal with their case as her shop sells footwear, which brings it under a general category of sportswear, hats and footwear.

"We make every effort to ensure that, where possible, we do not unnecessarily impact on other businesses," read a released statement from Arsenal on the ruling.

"However, it is important that Arsenal Football Club protects its global name when and where appropriate."

To her credit, Ms Simon is refusing to back down and is set to take the case to a tribunal in Madrid, vowing: "I will fight this to the end."

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