Superdry threatens to take Premier League giant to court over trademark issue

Julian Dunkerton

Cheltenham clothing firm Superdry has filed a High Court claim against Manchester City.

The company is alleging that the Premier League club have infringed its trademark on their training kit.

The club announced a new partnership with Japanese beer brand Asahi ahead of the 2023/24 season that sees the no-alcohol “Super ‘Dry’ 0.0” product featured on their training apparel.

Superdry, which was founded in 2001 by entrepreneur Julian Dunkerton, has requested an injunction that would prevent Manchester City from wearing kit with the branding in place.

Superdry is claiming that “the differences between Super ‘Dry’ and Superdry are so insignificant that they may go unnoticed by the average consumer”.

The company is also seeking costs, though are as yet unable to quantify the “exact financial value”.

According to the Daily Telegraph Philip Roberts KC, acting for Fox Williams LLC on behalf the plaintiff, said in a court filing: “The defendant [City] is hereby called upon to confirm whether it is using or intending to use the sign(s) complained of in relation to any Class 25 goods beyond the sponsored kit, in order that the selected goods relied upon can be expanded to the extent necessary without undue case management disruption.

“The defendant threatens and intends to perpetuate (alternatively, to commence) the acts complained of hereinabove. By reason of the aforesaid acts the claimants have suffered damage and/or will suffer damage in the future unless restrained by this honourable court.”

Manchester City announced the deal for the 2023/24 season in July, continuing a partnership with Asahi that began in 2022.

The Tokyo-based brewers are the largest of the four major beer brewers in Japan.