UK’s most exclusive golf club wins legal row
A club that aims to be the most exclusive golf club in Britain has won a legal battle against St Andrews Links Trust to use the words ‘St Andrews’ as part of its name.
St Andrews International Golf Club (SAIGC), which will be aimed at super-rich foreigners with joining fees as high as £200,000, is a £25m development that is currently being built on the former Feddinch Estate, a 245-acre farm located one and a half miles from the Old Course, St Andrews.
Last year, St Andrews Links Trust (SALT), which manages the world famous seven public links courses at St Andrews, including the Old Course, one of the oldest golf courses in the world, applied to the European Union to register ‘St Andrews’ as a trademark. It then gave SAIGC until January to withdraw the words ‘St Andrews’ from its name.
SAIGC refused to remove the words and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Switzerland has now denied SALT’s complaint.
Ewan McKay, director of SAIGC, said: “What right does the links trust have to claim ownership of the words ‘St Andrews’? The trademark dispute continues, but it is most pleasing that the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has found in favour of the company, so clearly that must put into question the rights claimed by the links trust.”
A legal dispute has also broken out between the trust and the St Andrews Golf Company, which is based just outside the town and has been in business in the area for more than 130 years.
When the company, which encompasses a number of historic clubmakers in the town – recently tried to register its trademarks with WIPO, it discovered that SALT had also raised objections.