Court threatens McGregor with €250,000 fine over trademark
Irish MMA fighter told by dutch court to stop selling Reebok clothes carrying his surname in big letters
A Dutch court on Friday ordered sports giant Adidas and its subsidiary Reebok, which sell Conor McGregor’s exclusive sports clothing line, to stop sales of some of his lucrative garments in Europe for infringing EU trademark regulations. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times
McGregor is a long-established fashion label based in The Netherlands
Conor McGregor has been banned from selling hoodies, shorts and sweaters carrying his surname in big letters or face hefty fines that could reach €250,000.
A Dutch court on Friday ordered sports giant Adidas and its subsidiary Reebok, which sell the fighter’s exclusive sports clothing line, to stop sales of some of his lucrative garments in Europe for infringing EU trademark regulations.
Following a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Reebok launched Conor McGregor’s popular signature hoodies, sport shirts and shorts with his name emblazoned on them.
But another McGregor, the Netherlands-based McGregor fashion label, synonymous with high end “clubby” design in Holland and surrounding countries for many years, sought a court injunction against Adidas to force Reebok to withdraw the offending garments.
Lawyers for the McGregor fashion label claimed the public could be confused into believing that some of the clothing made by Reebok for the Irish mixed martial artist and boxer was part of their own label.
The gloves first came off a few months ago when Ireland-based McGregor Sports Entertainment applied to the European Trade Mark office to register Conor McGregor’s trade mark on sports clothing. Dutch McGregor objected and the row ended up in the district court in The Hague two weeks ago.
New owners of the long established Dutch McGregor men’s fashion label - which at one time had 150 shops in Holland - objected to the multi-millionaire Dubliner’s name being used in large letters on clothing made by Reebok for his ever growing merchandise empire.
McGregor’s lawyer Remco van Leeuwen explained “the public would be confused into believing that the clothing made by Reebok for the Irish mixed martial artist and boxer comes from the McGregor fashion house. We asked Reebok to stop selling the clothing that would confuse the public but they refused”.
Judges heard the clothing sold by Reebok “was bound to be confusing to the public because it has McGregor in huge letters while ‘Conor’ is so minuscule you hardly see it”. A portfolio of photos of The Notorious Reebok clothing collection was shown.
Defence lawyers for Adidas described Conor McGregor’s fan appeal to such sports icons as Roger Federer and Ronaldo. They claimed the clothing was for fans who expect and want his name prominent on merchandise they buy.
In its written judgement on Friday the court found in favour of Dutch McGregor, ruling the signature name in big letters of the Irishman on the hoodie, shorts and jersey were a contravention of trademark regulations because of a close similarity to that of the plaintiff company.
The court ordered Adidas to stop using the signature McGregor on the champ’s hoodie, shorts and jersey because of its similarity to the Dutch McGregor trade mark within seven days and to withdraw all this merchandise from sales outlets Europe-wide within seven days.
Refusal to accept the verdict would result in the defendants paying McGregor of the Netherlands compensation of €1,000 a day, up to a maximum of €250,000, judges ruled.