Villarreal scores win in stadium trademark case

Villarreal has claimed victory in a court case brought against the Spanish LaLiga football club over the renaming of its stadium.

Villarreal renamed its home stadium, El Madigral, as the ‘Estadio de la Cerámica’ in January 2017. However, a businessman launched legal proceedings against the club after claiming he had registered the Estadio de la Cerámica brand at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office in 2015.

A commercial court in Valencia has now thrown out the case, with Spanish news agency EFE reporting that the judge ruled in favour of Villarreal due to reasons of “bad faith” on the part of the plaintiff. The judge ruled that the plaintiff registered the brand ‘Estadio de la Cerámica’ in Spanish and also ‘Ceramic Stadium’ in English while being “aware of the serious intentions of the sports club to use it to name the new football stadium”.

Despite the stadium being officially renamed in January 2017, Villarreal president Fernando Roig referred to the proposal on several occasions in years beforehand. The plaintiff had claimed €600 (£528/$693) in compensation for every day that the new stadium name was used, but in his ruling the judge ordered that the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office scrap the two trademarks he had lodged.

A host of local ceramics companies signed up to sponsor the stadium project in January 2017 and are granted brand exposure throughout the facility. The stadium’s South Stand features a façade that wholly covered with a high-gloss yellow porcelain stoneware to represent the colour of Villarreal’s home kit.

The stadium’s surroundings have also been transformed with the building of a new square that features ceramic materials on the pavement and sidewalks. The 25,000-capacity stadium was inaugurated in 1923 under the name of Campo del Villarreal before becoming El Madrigal two years later.

Image: Villarreal