Footballer Lionel Messi has won a legal battle over trademark rights related to his own logo.
The European Court of Justice dismissed an appeal made by the EU’s intellectual property office, EUIPO, and a Spanish cycling clothing brand called Massi on Thursday.
Messi first applied to trademark his surname as a sportswear, footwear and equipment brand in 2011.
The owners of Massi disputed this, arguing that the footballer’s brand would lead to confusion among customers.
The EU high court have said that Messi’s reputation is a relevant factor in distinguishing between the footballer’s brand and the cycling company.
The cycling company was successful in challenging the application after a complaint was upheld in 2013, but it lost in a ruling at the EU’s General Court in 2018.
At the time, the court said “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” – meaning confusion between the two was unlikely.
The 33-year-old has been named world football player of the year a record six times and is an all-time top scorer for Barcelona, Argentina and in Spanish football.
He is also the highest-paid player in the world, according to Forbes.
The footballer recently made a decision to stay with Barcelona, the club he has spent his entire career, to avoid entering a legal battle.
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