Our friends at Eurosport broke the news that beleaguered Arsenal Football Club have grown so desperate for a victory that they've resorted to suing the owner of a women's hat shop in Seville, Spain for trademark infringement.
Arsenal have been fighting Alicia Simon, owner of the Arsenale hat and shoe shop, in court over the name since she opened in 2007 and only just won the ability to force her to change it. Even though Simon, who admits she knows nothing about football, only sells self-designed hats and shoes that have nothing to do with the sport or the club, they fall into the ambiguous "clothes, hats and shoes" category and constitute infringement.
But despite the apparent ridiculousness of their case, Arsenal have now successfully persuaded the Spanish authorities that there was a "risk of confusion" between the monolithic English football club and the tiny hat shop.
Simon named her shop after the Italian word 'arsenale', which was the name given to the shipbuilders' yards in medieval Pisa and Venice. Her premises are in Seville's Arenal de Sevilla district, where Seville's ancient shipyards were located - hence her choice of the name.
Simon says she will "fight this to the end." And if you think this is too bizarrely iron-fisted to be true, the Independent's Sam Wallace reached an Arsenal spokesman, who declared just how serious they are...
"We make every effort to ensure that, where possible, we do not unnecessarily impact on other businesses.
"However, it is important that #afc protects its global name when & where appropriate."
So, an independent seller of dainty women's hats in Spain (with a name that is not "Arsenal" or "Arsenal Football Club") is not only a danger to Arsenal's global name, but it's appropriate to bog down the woman who owns it with five years (and counting) of court fees. Once again, Arsenal prove that they know what they're doing.
Next up, the club will sue dictionary makers for defining their global name as "a place of storage or a magazine containing arms and military equipment for land or naval service" instead of "a football club that sold Cesc Fabregas and hasn't won a trophy in six years."
- Arsenal Football Club