An international drama about the right of Maradona’s heir to use his father’s name – Intellectual Property


United States: An international drama about the right of Maradona’s heir to use his father’s name

To print this article, all you need to do is be registered or log in to Mondaq.com.

The heirs of Argentine soccer superstar Diego Maradona, along with a John Doe identified only by an IP address, have been sued for trademark infringement over their use of the “Maradona” name. The lawsuit was filed on January 13, 2022, and is just another installment in an ongoing fight for the likeness and likeness rights of Diego Maradona.

After the death of Diego Maradona on November 25, 2020, it was revealed that Sattvica, SA, Inc., a company owned by Maradona’s former attorney, Matias Morla, owned the rights to the Maradona brand name. Sattvica has since advocated the right to use the Maradona name worldwide.

Recently, an Argentinian court confirmed Sattvica’s trademark claim in litigation, jeopardizing a video game company’s rights obtained under a prior agreement with another person. With this momentum, Sattvica has moved to remove certain images and uses of Maradona’s name and likeness that appear to have been posted on social media by Maradona’s children. This case was voluntarily dismissed soon after. Now Sattvica has sued Maradona’s children directly in this most recent lawsuit.

This lawsuit is filed against the daughters of Diego Maradona, Dalma Nerea Maradona Villafane and Dinorah Gianina Maradona Villafane. Obviously, Sattvica can’t stop Maradona’s daughters from using their own name – as long as they use it as their own name. As one US appellate court put it, “[a]An individual will generally have the ability to use their own name and establish a reputation for that name, even in the face of a prior user’s trademark rights to the name, so long as the person using the name distinguishes their business and the use of the name of the company holding the trademark rights. »

That, however, is not what Sattvica alleges is happening here: The complaint alleges that the girls are using “Maradona” to image Diego Maradona and for the purpose of marketing products to which the Maradona mark has traditionally been affixed. Unless these sisters can show a different set of facts, they will have an uphill battle here in Florida, where the courts have recognized that “[w]Although an individual may identify with a name, they may not have the right to use that name to identify themselves in commerce.

Also interestingly, the complaint seeks to sue the owner of the web page of www.dm10.com. This person is identified as having an IP address of 23.227.38.74. IP address information is generally readily available to the public. In this case, an Internet search of the IP address listed in the complaint suggests that the IP address belongs to Shopify, Inc. Chances are that now that the lawsuit has been filed, Shopify will receive, at a minimum, a subpoena. asking who uses their services to sell goods on this site.

This dispute is likely to be interesting.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: United States Intellectual Property

NFT Trademark Dos and Don’ts

Klein Moynihan Turco LLP

As the NFT (“non-fungible token”) industry continues to boom (surpassing $40 billion in value in 2021), a growing number of individuals and businesses are looking for ways to cash in on the excitement.

BigLaw Firms Unveil D&I Billable Hours

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Richard SJ Hung spoke to World Intellectual Property Review about diversity and inclusion programs in intellectual property law, noting that many leading firms…

When copying is not an offence: filtering the facts

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz

Another day, another copyright lawsuit involving automotive advertising. Last week’s case – our first nominee for ‘dumbest copyright case of 2022’ – involved alleged similarities between photos of products…

Brand comparison guide

Obhan & Associates

Trademark comparison guide for the jurisdiction of India, see our comparison guides section to compare across multiple countries

Patent Case Summaries | Week ending January 14, 2022

Alston and bird

A weekly summary of previous patent-related opinions issued by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and designated previous or informative opinions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Comments are closed.