Business World

Monday 22 October 2018

Conor McGregor threatened with €250,000 fine following trademark battle over signature sportswear

MMA star Conor McGregor
MMA star Conor McGregor

Isabel Conway

Conor McGregor has been banned from selling some of his signature sportswear in Europe which has been found to infringe EU wide trademark regulations.

McGregor's lucrative hoodies, shorts and sweaters bearing his signature McGregor in big letters have to be removed from sales outlets within seven days.

Otherwise hefty fines that could reach up to €250,000 will be levied, a court in the Netherlands ruled today.

The District Court in The Hague ordered sports giant Adidas and its subsidiary Reebok, who sell Conor's exclusive sports clothing line to withdraw some of his favourite garments sold throughout Europe.

Following a high-profile deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Reebok launched Conor McGregor's popular signature hoodies, sport shirts and shorts with his name emblazoned on them.

Another McGregor, the Netherlands based McGregor fashion label, synonymous with high end 'clubby' design in Holland and surrounding countries for many years sought a court injunction against Reebok's parent company Adidas to force them to withdraw the offending garments.

The McGregor fashion label lawyers claimed that the public could be confused into believing that some of the clothing made by Reebok for the Irish mixed martial artist and boxer was part of their own McGregor label.

The gloves first came off months ago when Ireland-based McGregor Sports Entertainment applied to the European Trade Mark office to register McGregor's trademark on sports clothing. Dutch McGregor objected and the row ended up in the district court in The Hague two weeks ago.

New owners of the long established Dutch McGregor men's fashion label - who are about to re-launch a new collection and at one time had 150 shops in Holland - objected to the multi-millionaire Dubliner's name being used in large letters on clothing made for his ever growing merchandise empire by Reebok.

McGregor's lawyer Remco van Leeuwen said: "The public would be confused into believing that the clothing made by Reebok for the Irish mixed martial artist and boxer comes from the McGregor fashion house.

“We asked Reebok to stop selling the clothing that would confused the public but they refused."

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 miniscule you hardly see it'."

A portfolio of photos of The Notorious Reebok clothing collection was shown to judges.

Defence lawyers for Reebok's parent company Adidas described McGregor's fan appeal to such sports icons as Roger Federer and Ronaldo. They claimed the clothing was for fans who expect and want his name prominent on merchandise they buy.

In a written judgement today the court found in favour of Dutch McGregor, ruling that the signature name in big letters of the Irish MMA sensation on the hoodie, shorts and jersey were a contravention of trade mark regulations..

It ordered Adidas to stop using the signature McGregor on the champ's hoodie, shorts and jersey because of its similarity to the Dutch McGregor trade mark.

If they refused to do so within seven days the defendants would have to pay McGregor PC of the Netherlands compensation of €1,000 a day, up to a maximum of €250,000.

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