Massi or Messi? EU court rules in favour of Lionel Messi over trademark issue

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 17, 2020, 08.21 PM(IST)

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In 2018, the court said: "The football player's fame counteracts the visual and phonetic similarities" with Massi.

EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice, has ruled in favour of Lionel Messi over his name as a trademark. 

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According to the ruling, Messi can register his name as a trademark. The court also dismissed an appeal from Spanish cycling company Massi and the EU's intellectual property office, EUIPO.

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi was first to apply to trademark his surname as a sportswear brand in 2011. However, the player faced troubles when the cycling company (Massi) argued that the similarity between their logos would cause confusion.

As per the ECJ, the star player's reputation could be taken into account when weighing up whether the public would be able to tell the difference between the two brands. The EU court stood by its ruling in 2018. 

In 2018, the court said: "The football player's fame counteracts the visual and phonetic similarities" with Massi.

"Mr Messi is, in fact, a well-known public figure who can be seen on television and who is regularly discussed on television or on the radio," the court said.

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