Brighton hoping to join forces with West Brom and Burton in bid to trademark the word 'Albion'

John Percy
Brighton's Iranian midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh celebrates after Watford's English-born Jamaican defender Adrian Mariappa scores an own goal during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Watford - AFP

Brighton are making an ambitious bid to trademark the word ‘Albion’ in a move designed to protect supporters against fake merchandise.

The Premier League team will submit an application to the Intellectual Property Office and are hoping to join forces with West Brom and Burton to reinforce their hopes of copyrighting the word.

It is a move similar to a bid made by Liverpool last year, who failed to trademark the city’s name after their request was rejected in September due to its “geographical significance”.

However, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were both successful in their brand protection applications in recent years and Brighton are hopeful of trademarking ‘Albion’ in the next few months.

A West Brom spokesman confirmed on Sunday that they are consulting with their own legal team to assess the proposal.

Brighton have made the application to protect their commercial assets and rights from exploitation, primarily in terms of fake or unofficial merchandise, counterfeit goods or the unauthorised use of the Albion word in football.

Formed in 1901, Brighton changed their name to Albion due to objections from nearby Hove FC.

West Brom are arguably better known for their Albion affiliation, with the west Midlands club formed as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 before adopting the Albion name two years later.  

League One club Burton Albion were only formed 70 years ago but are understood to be also aware of Brighton’s intention. Albion is an alternative name for the island of Great Britain.

Chelsea succeeded in trademarking the club’s name in 2016, in a bid to cut down on unofficial merchandise.

Spurs have also fought to defend their brand, with the club now owning a number of trademark words including Tottenham, Tottenham Hotspur, Spurs, White Hart Lane, THFC, To Dare is to Do and Hotspur.

Brighton declined to comment on Sunday as the situation is now a legal process.

It is also understood that the commercial interests of other clubs who use Albion, such as Witton Albion and Tadcaster Albion, will not be restricted from using the word within their name.