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Neymar succeed to invalidate a TM of his name for bad faith in appeal

Written by Floriane Barre, an international intern on 21 May 2019

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This case began in December 2012 when Carlos Moreira, a Portuguese businessman, filed an application to register “Neymar” as a trade mark for the class 25 which includes clothing, footwear and headgear. Obviously, this isn’t very original as it is indeed the name of the actual most expensive football player and Paris Saint-Germain forward.

Following Neymar’s opposition proceeding, the European Union Intellectual Office (EUIPO) invalidated the trade mark in 2016 and Mrs. Moreira decided to appeal this decision before the General Court of the European Union.

On 14th of May 2019, without surprise, the General Court followed the previous decision of the EUIPO and invalidated the trade mark under the reason that the application was made in bad faith.

The principal question before the General Court was whether Neymar was already an international renowned football star in 2012. That was a sufficient reason to prove that Moreira tried to take advantage of Neymar’s fame.

The General Court held that Neymar was a rising star in football in 2012 and that his talent was already internationally recognised. The Brazilian footballer had already garnered the attention of biggest European clubs for several years. The defendant had no other reason to call his mark “Neymar” than to take advantage of the footballer’s renown.

Before the General Court, Carlos Moreira continued to deny his responsibility. He argues that he knew the forward in 2012 but not about his rising celebrity in football world. He explained his choice by the fact that he liked the phonetic of the word as if it was just a coincidence.

These declarations look to be misleading when we know that Moreira filed another application to register “Ikor Casillas” as a trade mark. He was the goalkeeper of the Real Madrid and of the Spanish National team. This recidivism helps the EUIPO and the General Court to find another evidence of Moreira’s bad faith.

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