The UK Independence Party (UKIP) recently launched its new logo at the party’s conference in Torquay creating a swift backlash of public reaction on social media. The new logo depicts the profile of a lion in the party’s purple colour on a white background, and replaces the previous pound symbol which no longer features. The logo reportedly received positive feedback from the party’s members, and UKIP’s new leader Henry Bolton spoke at the conference about re-focussing the party and building for the future.
Mere moments after the public unveiling of the logo however, a heated online debate erupted over whether the logo had been copied from the Premier League’s logo which also features the profile of a lion, in purple, on a white background. Gary Lineker, host of BBC’s Match of the Day, was one of the first celebrities to comment on the similarities, sarcastically re-tweeting the UKIP logo alongside the message, “the Premier League will be thrilled,” together with an eye-rolling emoji.
When questioned about the similarities on the BBC’s Daily Politics show, Chairman of UKIP Paul Oakden said, “We did our due diligence before we put these logos to the membership and as I said, we are perfectly comfortable. If they (the Premier League) feel they have a right to take legal action I’m sure they’ll consult with their lawyers.”
At the time of writing this article, no official statement or comment from the Premier League on this issue has been published yet, but the Premier League are seeking legal advice, and internal discussions have begun to decide their course of action.
This case does highlight the importance of seeking professional advice and thinking carefully about any re-branding exercise to highlight potential associations with pre-existing brands (either deliberate or not), and to fully understand the legal position and mitigate the risks involved.
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Richard Jones, Business Relationship Manager for ip21 Ltd.