By Stephanie Bodoni
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, the record four-time world player of the year, has won an EU 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, said the EU General Court, in a decision in Luxembourg.
The EU judges said that 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, with Mr Coma arguing 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.
Messi is reportedly one of the best-paid sports people in the world, earning €570,000 a week in wages alone.
Endorsements and sponsorships boost that amount to €125m a year.
- Bloomberg. Additional reporting Irish Examiner