Sheffield Wednesday print WAWAW on new 2019/20 kits despite trademark legal dispute
Sheffield Wednesday have decided to print their WAWAW motto on the new 2019/20 kits despite an ongoing trademark legal dispute.
Wednesday revealed their new kit to the public on Tuesday with a classy retro-style gaming video, posted on Twitter.
The kits went on sale yesterday with hundreds of Owls fans flocking to the Megastore to purchase it.
Fans were relieved to discover that a key part of the club’s identity was still emblazoned on the shirt with the WAWAW motto outlined in the bottom right corner.
WAWAW - which stands for ‘We’re All Wednesday Aren’t We’ - is a phrase synonymous with the Owls and is regularly used by fans and players alike on social media.
The club also use it extensively on clothing, including their replica shirts, as well as on other Wednesday merchandise and promotional material.
However, a legal dispute surrounding the motto erupted when it emerged that Paul Jennings, of Woodseats in Sheffield, registered WAWAW as a trademark in June last year.
The club have since lodged an application with the Government’s Intellectual Property Office to get the registration overturned.
WAWAW has been printed on the club’s shirts for a number of years but Mr Jennings’ trademark threw the usage of the motto on this year’s kit into doubt.
But fans were quick to express their delight after discovering that WAWAW is once again printed on the shirt.
A Sheffield Wednesday spokesman said: “We can confirm we have challenged Mr Jennings’ trademark as ‘WAWAW’ has without question grown organically from within the Sheffield Wednesday family for many years.
“We are confident the decision of the Intellectual Property Office will take this overwhelming factor into consideration and result in our challenge being successful.
“We had no prior knowledge of Mr Jennings’ application, had we received notification then we would have undoubtedly responded with an immediate challenge.
“Mr Jennings is correct to say he purchased an executive box at Hillsborough last season and is fully conversant with the association of ‘WAWAW’ and Sheffield Wednesday, which makes his course of action all the more disappointing.”
Emma Ward, head of Nelsons Solicitors’ intellectual property team who is representing Mr Jennings, said: “My client, who paid for a box at Sheffield Wednesday last season, is the registered proprietor of a UK trademark for ‘WAWAW’.
“The trademark was registered in accordance with the trademark law; the application for registration was not opposed by Sheffield Wednesday or anybody else.
“As Sheffield Wednesday have applied to cancel our client’s trademark at the intellectual property office, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time, as proceedings are ongoing.”