FITASC bans use of name

Shoot organisers could get themselves into hot water if they call their shoot FITASC without permission.

FITASC has become common parlance for a type of target but The International Federation for Sporting Shooting, FITASC, claims it is a registered trademark and no-one can use it unless they clear it with the body first.

The move has seen court proceedings taken against a gun shop owner in Ireland who advertised a 50-target event as “An Introduction to Sporting”, which was designed to give shooters “a flavour of FITASC”.

The Irish Clay Pigeon Shooting Association, the sole body allowed to use the FITASC mark in Ireland, is suing Jack Kelly of The Gun Shop, Wexford, for using the term.

When Mr Kelly was told by the ICPSA’s solicitors that he did not have permission to use the trademark he cancelled the shoot and signed an apology and statement promising not to use the terms again.

But the ICPSA is going ahead with court proceedings, claiming costs and counsel fees which are yet to be totted up.

Mr Kelly told us: “I am someone who is passionate about FITASC Sporting. The stance that FITASC and the ICPSA have taken regrettably does not serve or promote the sport in any way”.

The FITASC claims ownership to the titles FITASC; FITASC Sporting, Parcours de Chasse and International Sporting.

UK Krieghoff importer, Alan Rhone, also found himself on the wrong side of the FITASC when its president in Paris, J F Plankis, noticed his website address, www.fitascsporting.com, which has been well established for several years.

Mr Rhone was told he would be allowed the address if he changed the name to fitascsportinguk.com but he refused, as the site has been used by the BICTSF to post notices, shoot reports and so on to members for several years.

One solution put forward was that individual countries’ representatives could make decisions about the use of the name and that as BICTSF he could have permission. But Mr Rhone decided to pull the plug on his site because this would confuse matters more, since different rules in each country would mean a shoot could be advertised as 100 FITASC in the UK but not elsewhere.

Mr Rhone told us: “I cannot see what FITASC hope to achieve by this. Anyone holding a FITASC shoot is promoting and publicising the sport. By preventing such events being held by anyone other than FITASC they are reducing the number of shooters taking part and alienating those who are their strongest supporters”.

BICTSF chairman Hugh Smith has issued a statement on the organisation’s website saying BICTSF has sole ownership of the disciplines FITASC Sporting; FITASC Compak Sporting, Fosse, also known as Universal Trench, and Hélice, formerly known as ZZ, and has authority in the UK only to permit shooting grounds, event managers and individuals to hold, organise and advertise using the term FITASC.

The statement confirms there are no changes to current authorisations issued but new grounds, event managers and individuals wanting to use the term will have to get BICTSF permission first. It clarifies that, currently, there is no charge for authorisations. Mr Smith did not want to comment further at this stage.

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