FC Barcelona files lawsuit against Turkish textile company over name
Özge Eğrikar – ISTANBUL
“The Barcelona club has become a football phenomenon associated with the name ‘Barça.’ My client’s brand was known as ‘Barça’ in Turkey long before the defendant [textile] company trademarked its brand,” a petition filed by a lawyer on behalf of FC Barcelona said.
The lawyer, Nazlı Deniz Kol, asserted in the petition that Barca Textile Industry and Trade Ltd. Company had trademarked its name in Turkey five years ago, whereas the football club “has been referred to as ‘Barça’ since 1899, the year it was founded.”
“The true ownership undoubtedly belongs to the client club. We request the annulation and invalidation of the defendant company’s brand ‘Barca’,” the petition added.
Ali Öziçer, the owner of Barca Textile, said the firm has a 22-year history and exports apparel items to many European countries, including Germany and Italy.
“Barca means boat in Italian. We are a company whose brand is trademarked in many countries,” he said
Öziçer also stressed that in previous years his company had applied to Spanish authorities to get its name trademarked. The application was not accepted, he said.
The firm’s owner said Barcelona had grown irritation over their brand’s name because it planned to open a restaurant in Turkey.
“They have come here and applied to the authorities [to open a restaurant] under the name of ‘Barça.’ And we have appealed to their [name] registration application. The club has applied twice, and we appealed twice. Now they have filed a lawsuit,” Öziçer said.