Footballer Lionel Messi is now a registered trademark
The European court has ruled that Messi can use his name to brand sports equipment and clothing
Argentinian star footballer, Lionel Messi is the world's top-earning footballer, and now thanks to a European court he can also trademark his name.
The FC Barcelona had been fighting for seven years to trademark his name and use it on sports gear and other items. His initial application was challenged by Massi, a Spanish cycling brand, who argued that the names were too similar and would cause confusion. Headquartered outside of Barcelona, the cycling brand had lodged a complaint against Messi to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in 2011.
But the General Court, the EU's second highest court, ruled on Thursday saying his fame made it unlikely his label would be confused with a similar-sounding Spanish brand. “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,” the court said.
The ruling comes days after France Football magazine reported Messi had overtaken Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest earner in football, with an income of €126m (£108m). Ronaldo is making €94m, the magazine said.
Considered as one of the world's greatest soccer players, Messi, scored his 600th professional goal last month and is the all-time highest scorer for both Barcelona and Argentina's national team.
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