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

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. »

However, this is not what Sattvica claims in the present case: the complaint alleges that the girls use “Maradona” in the image of Diego Maradona and for the purpose of marketing the products on which the Maradona brand was traditionally 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.

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