Court threatens McGregor with hefty fine over trademark infringement

UFC fighter Conor McGregor has been banned from selling clothing carrying his surname in big letters, or if the ban is ignored he will face fines that could reach up to €250,000 (£224,000).

A Dutch court ordered sports giants Adidas and its subsidiary Reebok, who both sell the fighter’s exclusive sports clothing line, to stop sales of his lucrative garments in Europe after a claim for infringement of EU trademark regulations was raised.

Following a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Reebok launched Conor McGregor’s popular signature hoodies, sports shirts and shorts with his name emblazoned on them.

However, another company with the McGregor name, a Netherlands based fashion label known across Europe, sought a court injunction against Adidas to force Reebok to withdraw the offending clothing.

Lawyers for the Dutch 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 in fact part of its own label, due to the massive McGregor lettering with the word ‘Conor’ so small in comparison it can barely be seen.

The defence team for Reebok’s owners Adidas compared Conor’s fan appeal to such sports icons as Roger Federer and Ronaldo. They claimed the clothing was for fans who want his name prominent on the merchandise they buy.

The situation first developed a couple of months ago when McGregor Sports Entertainment applied to the European Trade Mark office in a bid to register Conor McGregor’s trademark on sports clothing. The Dutch company McGregor objected and the dispute ended up at the district court in The Hague.

In a written judgment, the court ruled the signature name in big letters on the hoodie, shorts and jersey were a contravention of trademark regulations because it was similar to that of the plaintiffs. In addition to the ruling, the court also ordered Reebok to pay €15,711 (£14,075) towards the Dutch company’s legal fees and gave the sports brand seven days to remove the merchandise from the European market or face fines or €1,000 (£895) a day.

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https://blog.mackrell.com/court-threatens-mcgregor-hefty-fine-trademark-infringement/
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Mohit Pasricha

Mohit Pasricha

Solicitor at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Mohit is a solicitor and Head of Sports Law at Mackrell Turner Garrett, advising and representing clients within the sports sector by providing specialist advice on a wide range of commercial, corporate and intellectual property matters. His clients include clubs, commercial sponsors, sports agents, and individual sporting professionals.