Reebok Loses Trademark Fight Over Conor McGregor’s Name

A Dutch brand has emerged victorious after going into the ring with Reebok in a trademark dispute over the use of MMA fighter Conor McGregor‘s name.

The company, McGregor IP, owns the trademark in the European Union for the “McGregor” mark in conjunction with clothing and accessories. While the label is on hiatus following a 2016 bankruptcy, it once had 150 stores across Europe carrying its preppy contemporary apparel. It told the court that it is preparing for a relaunch.

Reebok, an Adidas subsidiary, had been selling hoodies, shorts, T-shirts and jerseys bearing the name of the UFC athlete, with whom it inked a sponsorship deal in 2015. Lawyers for McGregor the brand, however, contended that the name could create confusion for shoppers, arguing that the addition of “Conor” was insufficient to distinguish Reebok’s merchandise from its own since it appeared only in a much smaller typeface and a less visible color.

The judge for the District Court of The Hague agreed and ordered Reebok to cease distribution of the products and pay 15,711 euros ($17,825) to cover McGregor IP’s legal costs.

“The public may get the impression that McGregor IP has now [also] started to focus on this market for sportswear or sports clothing,” reads the court’s decision. “For the time being, it has become sufficiently plausible that there is confusion between the McGregor brands and the sign Conor McGregor as currently used on the hoodie, the shorts and the jersey.” Two T-shirts with the athlete’s name remain on the Reebok site, as their designs don’t feature the last name as prominently and were uncontested by the Dutch brand.

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