St Andrews Links Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of St Andrews Links Trust, today (5 May) confirmed it has reached resolution with an American apparel company in a deal which will benefit worthy causes in St Andrews and America.
In 2012 St Andrews Links became aware that the US firm Streetwear Inc. had created a clothing range pertaining to be official St Andrews merchandise, without knowledge of St Andrews Links’ Intellectual Property, especially its registrations for the marks ST ANDREWS® and ST ANDREWS LINKS®. As a result St Andrews Links filed a suit in a United States federal court.
After initial contact, St Andrews Links ascertained Streetwear Inc. had produced and were actively marketing a clothing line bearing the ST ANDREWS mark.
Streetwear Inc. believed they had a right to use the ST ANDREWS mark because a 3rd party purported to sell them that right. They advised St Andrews Links they wished to seek a favourable solution that would not result in the matter proceeding through the United States’ court system.
St Andrews Links has now reached a satisfactory resolution, which requires Streetwear Inc. to phase out all use of the ST ANDREWS trademark. The settlement also provides for a significant sum of money be donated to charities in St Andrews, Scotland and the USA.
The resolution will enable Streetwear Inc. to phase out its use of the mark over a limited time period whilst ensuring the intellectual property rights of St Andrews Links remain protected.
Chief Executive of St Andrews Links Trust, Euan Loudon, said: “The Links courses at St Andrews are the oldest and most renowned in the world. Their desirability has led to a number of individuals and businesses, both in Scotland and beyond, using our intellectual property and trading on local heritage, tradition and success without our permission.
“In order to protect our commercial interests we have a programme of trademark and brand protection. As part of that work we have a duty to track and enforce our intellectual property. We were alerted to a situation involving Streetwear and their marketing of a product bearing the St Andrews mark, which they were not permitted to use.
“We would urge businesses trading on the name and reputation of St Andrews to be aware of the dangers of misrepresenting St Andrews and what it symbolises around the world. We have made significant investment to promote our commercial interests and, like all businesses holding intellectual property assets, have a duty to monitor the marketplace for infringing activity and to enforce our intellectual property as necessary. We have a solid and robust framework in place to do so and will continue to use it where appropriate.”
Trademark Offices throughout the world have recognized St Andrews Links’ exclusive rights to the term ST ANDREWS in connection with a wide variety of golf-related goods and services and have granted St Andrews Links’ registrations for the protection of these rights.
Official St Andrews Links clothing is only available directly from the Home of Golf® at www.standrews.org.uk or from Brooks Brothers, the Official Partner to St Andrews Links.