By Isabel Conway
The battle of McGregor vs McGregor was decided in a Dutch courtroom yesterday and the victor was not ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor but a Dutch men’s high fashion label seeking an injunction to stop the name McGregor being used on some of his signature sportswear in Europe.
Hoodies, shorts, and sweaters bearing the MMA fighter’s signature in huge letters must be withdrawn from sale within seven days, the District Court of the Hague decided, in an intellectual property rights judgment ruling in favour of the Dutch plaintiff.
Following a high-profile deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Reebok launched Conor McGregor’s signature hoodies, sport shirts, and shorts with his name emblazoned on them.
However, Netherlands-based McGregor fashion label, synonymous with high-end ‘clubby’ design in Holland and surrounding countries, sought an injunction against Reebok’s parent company, Adidas, to force them 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 Irishman was part of their own McGregor label.
The gloves first came off months ago when Irish-based McGregor Sports Entertainment applied to the European Trade Mark office to register Conor McGregor’s trademark on sports clothing. Dutch McGregor objected and the row ended up in the District Court in The Hague.
New owners of the long-established Dutch McGregor men’s fashion label - who are about to re-launch their brand and new collections - objected to the multi-millionaire Dubliner’s name being used in large letters on clothing made for his ever-growing merchandise empire by Reebok.
Judges heard that 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.
During the earlier Court sitting, Dutch McGregor’s lawyer Remco van Leeuwen an international specialist in international property rights law, said they asked Reebok to stop selling the clothing which would confuse the public, but they refused.
The Adidas defence team compared the fighter’s fan appeal to such sports icons as Roger Federer and Ronaldo.
They claimed the clothing is for fans who expect and want his name prominently on the merchandise they buy.
In a written judgment yesterday, the court found in favour of Dutch McGregor, ruling that the signature name in big letters of the Irish MMA sensation on clothing is a contravention of trademark regulations because it is similar to that of the plaintiffs.
The court ordered Adidas to stop using the signature McGregor on the 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 PC of the Netherlands compensation of €1,000 a day, up to a maximum of €250,000.