Bosses at the home of golf have failed in a legal battle over the rights to the name ‘St Andrews’, The Times reports.
Operators of the Old Course sought to register the town’s name as a trademark for travel and other services.
St Andrews Links Trust owns rights to the name for goods including golf equipment, clothing and jewellery. It wanted to extend these rights to protect the brand and stop other companies from using it.
But the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) refused the application.
St Andrews Links argued that customers would think of its courses when they saw the name. Trademark experts, however, said they could associate the goods with the town instead of golf.
In its ruling, EUIPO stated: “St Andrews is a well-known town due to the reputation of its golf-sport facilities and the oldest university in Scotland.
“The town also contains a cathedral, medieval churches and town gates, ancient castle ruins overlooking the sea, numerous museums, a botanic garden and an aquarium. The mark applied for must be refused registration.”
A spokesman for St Andrews Links Trust said: “As one of the world’s most famous and renowned sporting venues, St Andrews Links is the owner of numerous registrations for the mark, St Andrews, across a wide variety of product and service categories.”
He added: “This includes numerous registrations issued by EUIPO.
“St Andrews Links invests in protecting its brands and reputation globally for the benefit of the Links, its partners, and the many stakeholders who share in our commitment to protecting the reputation and renown of St Andrews as the home of golf.”