St Andrews Links Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of St Andrews Links Trust, and the David Stevenson Trust (DST), a charity which owns the "Auchterlonies of St Andrews" brand, today joined forces to support St Andrews Links continuing efforts to protect the reputation and heritage of St Andrews.
The two parties have signed a definitive agreement, which forms part of St Andrews Links ongoing protection of its registrations for the marks OLD COURSE®, ST ANDREWS® and ST ANDREWS LINKS®, to ensure the benefits of the world’s most famous golf course are realised.
Trademark Offices throughout the world have recognised St Andrews Links’ exclusive rights to the term ST ANDREWS in connection with a wide variety of golf-related goods and services and have granted St Andrews Links registrations for the protection of these rights.
In recent years St Andrews Links has made significant investment to promote its commercial interests and, like all businesses holding intellectual property assets, has a duty to monitor the marketplace for infringing activity and to enforce its intellectual property as necessary. The agreement between St Andrews Links and DST supports this work and will help to reduce the danger of misrepresentation and to nurture what the name, St Andrews, symbolises around the world.
Under the terms of the agreement DST will reorganise its trade mark portfolio to enable St Andrews Links to better protect internationally the terms “St Andrews” and “Old Course”, in so far as they relate to golf related goods and services. The agreement also facilitates the working together of both organisations to uphold their respective businesses and to recognise and differentiate their distinctive identities, whilst promoting the benefits realised locally from this initiative.
The agreement also provides for the distribution of commercial revenues generated from the agreement over the next five years between good causes in St Andrews and in Langholm, where it will be invested in sport and the arts.
Mr Stevenson said: “St Andrews Links is the Home of Golf and Auchterlonies is one of the longest-serving retailers in the town, dating back to 1895. We have observed St Andrews Links efforts to protect the reputation and heritage of St Andrews in recent years and have ourselves become increasingly concerned by the amount of Old Course badged merchandise on sale throughout the UK and possibly beyond, where the companies involved have no obvious connection with St Andrews yet try to portray one.
“We believe that St Andrews Links are best placed to safeguard what the name St Andrews represents and do so in such a way that the benefits accrue not just to St Andrews Links but St Andrews as a whole. We have entered into this agreement because we believe it will benefit St Andrews, and by working together we will be able to support the local business community.”
St Andrews Links Chief Executive Euan Loudon said: “St Andrews Links’ priority is to preserve and maintain the Links as the most renowned golf complex in the world where we deliver unique and memorable experiences for every golfer. The Trustees believe that one of the key duties and responsibilities in being able to do just that is by reducing the danger of misrepresentation and nurturing what the name symbolises around the world.
“We know there are many, closer to home and further afield, who have tried and continue to cash in on the ‘St Andrews’ name and we would be failing the town if we did not take steps to try and avoid that happening. As part of that on-going programme we are delighted to be working with such a widely-respected St Andrews institution and hope, that by doing so, we help reassure people in the town that the objective of this exercise is to protect the St Andrews name in golf for the benefit of those who use and enjoy the Links.”
To help mark the agreement both parties will take part in a charitable golf day, the St Andrews Links – Auchterlonies Initiative, at The Castle Course. The proceeds of the day will be split on a 50/50 basis between good causes in St Andrews and in Mr Stevenson’s hometown of Langholm.
A date will be confirmed for the St Andrews Links – Auchterlonies Initiative later in the year.