The Danish Super League of football has registered an application in the Intellectual Property Office of the European Union (EUIPO) so that the competition project promoted by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus cannot use this name, registered with a trademark in this same body last April with the name The Super League.
As stated in the documentation to which EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA has had access, the The Super League Denmark has decided to file a legal battle with the competent community body to protect a trademark that it registered in March 2013. It did so for a minimum period of ten years and, in its opinion, the rights it holds over it are now threatened by the called European Super League.
The law firm Clifford Chance, through its office in Barcelona and on behalf of European Super League Company S. L., a company based on Calle Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, registered the term The Super League in the EUIPO on April 16, 2021, three days before 12 European clubs who originally supported her announced their breakthrough project, causing an earthquake in the world football order, paying 6,000 euros for the procedure.
Following the regulatory procedure, the EUIPO studied the application for registration and approved it and made it public less than a month later, on May 5. From there, as is done with any brand, it was opened a period of three months for anyone who considers himself to be affected to formulate his objections. On 16 July, Superligaen A / S, the company that organizes the main Danish championship, sent its opposition letter to the EUIPO.
The Danish league alleges that the Superliga brand has broad prior recognition in its country (use the term since 2010, although its community registration was later) from which the new competition could not take advantage or, on the contrary, generate reputational damage.
They also understand in Denmark that community regulations protect them when defending their thesis, since the simultaneous use of the term Super League for two different competitions will generate confusion among consumers of their product. It also appeals to graphic similarities between the logos of both brands, which they consider one more element of potential confusion.
On September 2, and without further opposition from third parties, the EUIPO accepted the appeal of the Danish Super League for processing. The reaction of the company managed by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus was to put itself in the hands of the specialized office Isern Patents and Trademarks, based in Barcelona, to defend your interests in this process. Movement that denotes the concern generated in the three clubs by the claim made by the Danish league.
Until next November 7, there is a window open for the two parties to can reach an agreement and thus terminate the litigation. Otherwise, the representatives of the Danish Super League will have to formally re-substantiate the reasons for their opposition before 7 January.
Months of waiting
Thereafter, the European Super League will be able to answer and make allegations for two months, until March 7. After collecting the arguments of both parties, the EUIPO will make a decision on whether the registration of the trademark The Super League collides with the interests of Superligaen. “The terms vary depending on each case. It is difficult to foresee when there will be a definitive resolution “, explain the expert sources in these processes with which this newspaper has consulted.
The admission for processing of the claim does not imply that the EUIPO presumes that the reason protects the Danish competition, but only that it understands that there are indications of a possible incompatibility, in the absence of going into the merits of the matter, explain the legal sources consulted in this regard. In other words, it is by no means ruled out that the EUIPO ends up concluding that the registration of the trademark The Super League complies with Community regulations and that it is compatible with that of the Danish Super League.
Battle in Spain
The litigation between the Danish league and the so-called Super League is not the only one lived in recent months around that brand. Last July, the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid ruled in favor of the RFEF in a similar court dispute against LaLiga, according to the ruling.
In December 2018, the presiding body Luis rubiales registered the trademark RFEF Super League at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office. The Federation has not used this brand at any time, although it is most likely that it used that name for the women’s league, now called Primera Iberdrola and which for a decade (2001-11) was called Superliga.
The Patent Office limited its use in September 2019, following a claim by LaLiga to certain specific cases, but the employer chaired by Javier Tebas sought to fight in the courts to prevent any use, considering that there was a similarity between the terms Superliga RFEF and LaLiga that could generate confusion.
After several years of litigation, the Justice ruled in July in favor of the RFEF, recognizing the right to use the Superliga RFEF trademark, registered two and a half years earlier. The Federation can use it to name competitions, although not in other matters such as toys, video game O telecommunications.