Wolverhampton Wanderers in dispute with BrewDog over wolf's head logo

Wolverhampton Wanderers have threatened craft ale giants BrewDog with possible legal action after their new logo sparked a bitter row.

Published 29th May 2016
Updated 30 th May 2016

Wolves are baying after a Scottish craft beer giant unveiled the eye-catching new logo for its first ever spirits range.

Wolverhampton Wanderers, better known as Wolves, have threatened Aberdeen-based drinks firm BrewDog with court action after it unveiled a black wolf’s head design as the emblem for its latest drinks line Lone Wolf.

The Midlands club says the branding bears a striking resemblance to the patented Wolves emblem.
The row kicked off when angry fans bombarded their team with phone calls to alert them to the alleged copyright infringement after the Lone Wolf badging was revealed last week.

Now Wolves, which has patented various versions of the wolf’s head both nationally and internationally, has contacted the firm to demand an explanation.

Team marketing boss Matt Grayson said: “This is a serious matter which has been independently raised by a large number of people.

“Some have even questioned whether Wolves has licensed its trademark to BrewDog.

“Therefore, it’s causing confusion amongst our supporters and the general public and we’ll be contacting BrewDog to seek more details and to bring our registered trademarks to their attention.”

BrewDog co-founder James Watt has said the “iconic” motif “manages to capture the craft essence of the brand in a clean, stealthy, understated way, which will make Lone Wolf instantly recognisable”.

The wolf head has been an almost permanent fixture on the Wolves team shirts since 1979, in various guises.

The controversial logo is set to be emblazoned on new ranges of gin, vodka and whisky under the Lone Wolf brand.

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Unveiling the brand last week, Mr Watt said he believes the design “perfectly” fits the new venture’s personality.

“It manages to capture the craft essence of the brand, but presents it in a clean, stealthy, understated way, which will make Lone Wolf instantly recognisable,” he said.

Designers at B&B Studio, who created the logo, say the geometric image conveys BrewDog’s rebellious “spirit”.

Creative partner Shaun Bowen said: “It’s stripped back, raw and edgy.

“The brand and the wolf are both a bit wild. We wanted to communicate that in the design.”

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Two years ago a supporters group of New York City FC was forced to remove its badge after stealing the football team’s wolf head design.

There have been a raft of other high-profile copyright infringement disputes in recent years.

Tech giant Apple is notoriously sensitive about brand identity, taking action against a German cafe called Apfelkind, Woolworths and New York’s environmental campaign GreenNYC.

International coffee chain Starbucks has also taken umbrage over copying, with Starbarks Dog Daycare getting rapped over its similar logo.

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