Saturday 10 December 2016

McGregor beaten to the punch as 'IP squatter' files trademark claim

Simon Rowe

Published 18/09/2016 | 02:30

Conor McGregor . Picture: AP
Conor McGregor . Picture: AP

UFC fighter Conor McGregor faces a legal showdown after a suspected 'trademark and cyber squatter' laid claim to his money-spinning brand name.

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A costly commercial tussle could follow after a UK-based 'IP squatter' filed applications for three UK trademarks and one EU trademark incorporating his moniker.

The Manchester-based businesswoman has beaten the Irish star to the punch by registering three dotcom domain addresses and a limited company which all incorporate his name.

Tabassum Gazala Khan has gone on a spending spree since July in an apparent bid to acquire valuable commercial IP linked to the UFC star.

Ms Khan spent €3,150 applying for an EU trademark for 'Conor McGregor The Notorious' - just days after shelling out Stg£500 (€590) on three UK trademark applications for 'The Notorious Conor McGregor', 'Conor The Notorious McGregor' and 'Conor McGregor The Notorious'. She has also registered the following websites: conormcgregor thenotorious.com, conorthenotoriousmcgregor.com and thenotoriousconormcgregor.net

The EU trademark application covers 17 classes of IP, which would enable Ms Khan to cash in on McGregor's name on products including aftershave, computer games, mugs and beer.

Legal experts predict McGregor will apply immediately to have the application declared invalid on the basis of 'bad faith'.

But top Irish trademark lawyer Brian Conroy has described the situation facing McGregor and his legal team as "messy".

"Will this woman secure the trademark registrations and be able to keep both the trademarks and the websites? Almost certainly not. But if she puts up a good fight, it could potentially take a good while to resolve and cost a fair bit of money for McGregor," said Mr Conroy.

A spokeswoman for McGregor did not reply to questions when contacted. Neither did Ms Khan.

If McGregor opts to fight the case, he has enough money to finance an A-list legal team. The Dubliner made the Forbes Rich List for the first time this year, with earnings of $22m (€19.3m).

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