Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor is in a fight…. and no it is not inside the octagon or inside a bar in Ireland.
According to a report from Rory O’Neill at World Intellectual Property Review, the mixed martial arts star is “fighting a trademark opposition from a Dutch company that claims the athlete’s trademark would cause confusion with its own brand.”
McGregor Sports and Entertainment (MSE), which handles the majority of McGregor’s Irish business, filed an European Union trademark application at the EU Intellectual Property Office for his name in 2017.
According to the report, if approved, the ‘Conor McGregor’ mark would cover classes 3, 9, 16, 25, 28, 41, 43, 44, including goods and services such as aftershave, clothing, video games, gyms, and hair salons.
McGregor IP, a Dutch company, is looking to make sure that doesn’t happen. The company acquired the ‘McGregor’ clothing brand from another Dutch retailer Doniger Fashion, which had already filed an opposition to the MMA fighter’s mark in 2017.
“The Dutch company owns two EU word marks which are the basis of its opposition. The first, for ‘McGregor’, covers classes 3, 18 and 25; while another mark for ‘D.D. McGregor’ covers class 25.”
Lawyers for the UFC star have argued that the ‘Conor’ element of his mark is sufficient to distinguish it from the Dutch brand.
In an October 25 filing, MSE argued that the Dutch company was seeking a monopoly over the ‘McGregor’ surname, which would be “extreme and excessive”.
“The registration of a surname alone cannot be given the scope of protection to prevent registration of a trademark consisting of a forename with the same surname,” the filing said.
MSE said it was unlikely that consumers would confuse the commercial origin of products sold by the two companies based on them sharing the McGregor name.
McGregor was previously forced to back down in his efforts to launch the ‘Notorious’ whiskey brand after an opposition from another Irish brewer who was already using the name.
The fighter instead opted to name the whiskey ‘Proper No. Twelve’, a reference to the Dublin 12 postal district where he grew up.