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Google Play challenged by Man Utd over trademarks

Manchester United demands Google Play -- formerly Android Market -- block all unofficial uses of its club crest on apps.

Those of you who celebrate a goal by emulating the badge-kissing antics of your favourite footballing mercenaries -- whipping out your crest-emblazoned smart phone and giving it a good old smooch -- may soon be frustrated as football clubs get tough on app trademark abuse.

Manchester United is insisting Google drops the many apps that use its official logo without authorisation, paidContent reports.

Google has been criticised in the past for its loose door policy, allowing apps into its club in tracksuit bottoms and flip flops, while Apple's austere doormen insist on shiny shoes and a tie.

If you jog around the app store formerly known as Android Market, Google Play, you'll find plenty of dodgy trademark-busting, from fetching homescreen wallpaper of Wayne Rooney to a tasteful Man Utd clock.

So what are the chances of Google playing ball? paidContent noted that the search giant signalled its stance when it told a House of Commons committee in January that it could, but wouldn't, systemically filter law-breaking web pages from search results -- not until a takedown request had been submitted.

"If a user has their privacy violated by a web page and wants that removed, we have a public-facing web form that they use to let us know. We have removed hundreds of URLs in this case so that they no longer show up in our search results," said the firm's associate general counsel Daphne Keller to the joint committee on privacy and injunctions.

Is Google still too open in allowing unauthorised content onto its app store? Aside from trademark issues, a recent report suggested that the rapid growth of Google Play meant threats from malware were on the rise, where seemingly clean apps leave a route open for malware once you've installed your app.

Are you a Man Utd fan who is bothered by your club's devilish bid to block your favourite apps? If so, console yourself with this scene from the other side of Manchester, or dish out some abuse from the stands in our comments below, or on our Facebook wall.