Pearl Narang is a final year law student of B.B.A.LL.B (Hons.) at Chandigarh University, Mohali and is currently interning as a Trainee in Business World Legal Community. She is also pursuing a diploma in Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. She is passionate about both law and writing.
Spanish brand Massi claimed that player's brand would cause confusion
Messi first filed an application with the EU property office to register his trademark in 2011. The logo consists of an emblem with an M, with the name Messi underneath. The player wanted to trademark his surname as sportswear, footwear and equipment brand despite opposition from the owners of Massi, a Spanish cycling clothing brand. The company argued that the player's brand would cause confusion to customers.
This complaint was upheld by the EU property office in 2013. The following year, an appeal filed by Messi was dismissed. In 2018, an appeal was made to the EU's General Court. This appeal led to the original ruling being annulled.
A celebrity has the right to register his products in his own name
This annulment was challenged in the EU's Court of Justice in Luxembourg by the clothing brand and EUIPO. The Court dismissed the appeal against the annulment and said that the EU's General Court was correct to say Messi's reputation was a relevant factor in establishing a difference between the player's brand and the cycling company. The court also noted that the name Messi is the last name of a world-famous football player, and a celebrity has the right to register his products in his own name.
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