Court row over who can use Tartan Army name

Tartan Army fans proudly show their true colours. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Tartan Army fans proudly show their true colours. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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A £300,000 battle over who can use the name “Tartan Army” has reached Scotland’s highest court.

The owners of the famous name have taken a magazine publisher to court in a bid to stop him calling his title “The Famous Tartan Army magazine”.

Glasgow businessman Ian Adie registered “Tartan Army” as a trademark in 1996, giving him sole rights to use the term on a wide variety of merchandise.

He sold his business, Tartan Army Limited, to publicans Bob Shields and Don Lawson in 2006 and they took over ownership of the trademark.

They have now launched a damages claim against Iain Emerson, who runs The Famous Tartan Army magazine, and his company Alba Football Fans Limited, its publisher, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Mr Emerson argues that no one can have exclusive rights over the name and that the trademark should be ruled invalid.

Following a preliminary hearing, Judge Lord Glennie ruled that Mr Emerson, of Stirling, could not be sued personally, only his company.

A further hearing will also be held to discuss the case. No date has been set.

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