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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 17:21 GMT
Football trader is cleared again
Rangers fans
Mr Gallacher was selling hats and scarves to Rangers fans
A street trader has scored his second court victory over the sale of fake Rangers merchandise after a sheriff cleared him of any wrong-doing.

Joseph Gallacher was caught selling counterfeit hats and scarves outside Ibrox Stadium in December 2003.

He was prosecuted for infringing trademark laws - just months after he had been cleared on similar charges.

Rangers had hoped a conviction would help stop rogue traders, but evidence submitted was found to be "deficient".

Sheriff Craig Scott also said the evidence of Rangers' head of branding lacked "weight and quality".

'Badge of allegiance'

Trading standards officers swooped on the 51-year-old trader outside Ibrox during a Champions League clash against Panathanikos.

They seized 334 fake hats and 139 fake scarves from the boot of his car.

Some of the items had been returned to him after he was cleared earlier that year of breaching trademarks by selling counterfeit Old Firm goods.

Rangers FC says that it loses thousands of pounds through the trading of unlicensed goods each year.

This was a big, big victory for myself and other street traders
Joseph Gallacher

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Alistair Campbell - the club's head of brand protection - claimed Mr Gallacher was breaking the law by using the football club's name and logo on his merchandise without permission.

Mr Campbell said the club had warned all street traders that the law was clear and they faced legal action if caught with these goods.

However, Mr Gallacher - a trader for more than 30 years - argued the use of a club's name or logo was "a badge of allegiance" and not an infringement.

His lawyer Brian Fitzpatrick pointed to a newspaper article in October 2003 where Iain Wilson, the head of Glasgow City Council's Trading Standards department, was quoted as describing trademark laws as "muddied".

Sheriff Scott said the case against Mr Gallacher in certain areas was "deficient" and found him not guilty of two infringements of the Trademarks Act.

Mr Gallacher, of Springburn, Glasgow, hailed his latest win.

He said: "This was a big, big victory for myself and other street traders. Trademark laws are a complex issue.

"Once again, there has not been a watertight case before it has come to court."


SEE ALSO:
Sheriff clears Old Firm trader
01 Apr 03 |  Scotland


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