Barcelona’s Messi wins trademark challenge in EU court

Footballer defeated a Spanish cycling clothing maker who owns the name Massi

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates as he scores against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. Photograph: David Ramos / GETTY IMAGES

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates as he scores against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. Photograph: David Ramos / GETTY IMAGES

 

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, the record four-time world player of the year, has won a European Union court challenge over the trademark rights to his own logo, defeating a Spanish cycling clothing maker who owns the name Massi.

The soccer player’s “fame counteracts the visual and phonetic similarities” with the other brand, the EU General Court, said in a decision in Luxembourg on Thursday.

The EU judges said Messi should get the EU trademark for the logo, which consists of an emblem with an M, with the name Messi underneath.

The soccer player has fought since 2011 to get the EU trademark rights for the logo which is used for sports clothing and shoes.

Jaume Masferrer Coma, the owner of a brand of cycling clothes called Massi, has so far blocked the Argentina national team star.

He argued that he already owned EU trademarks for his brand and allowing Messi to claim one would cause too much confusion with customers.

The EU’s intellectual property office in Alicante, Spain, had ruled against Messi, who in 2014 challenged this decision at the bloc’s second-highest court. – Bloomberg