The EU General Court has ruled in favour of the heirs of the late Diego Maradona in a recent dispute over trade mark ownership of the mark “DIEGO MARADONA”.
Diego Maradona registered a trade mark at the EU Intellectual Property Office prior to his death against various goods and services including clothing, footwear, hospitality and IT services.
Following the footballer’s death in 2020, a company named “Sattvica” which is owned by Maradona’s former lawyer, Matias Morla, requested that the EU Intellectual Property Office transfer ownership of the trade mark to the company. The request was made pursuant to a 2015 agreement, and a further undated agreement which Sattvica claimed had been signed by Maradona. Sattvica claimed those documents confirm the ownership of the trade mark should be transferred to Sattvica.
Last year, the EU Patent Agency ruled that Sattvica had not submitted sufficient evidence to confirm the transfer of the mark, at which point the company then took its case to the General Court. However, in its ruling, the General Court confirmed that the “documents produced by that company do not formally justify an assignment of the trade mark in its favour under a contract signed between the two parties (Sattvica and Maradona)”.
The judge continued, “Furthermore, as Maradona had died before the request for registration of the transfer was submitted, Sattvica could not correct the irregularities found. Nor was it able to produce any other documents”. Sattvica can now appeal to the EU Court of Justice should it wish to do so.
This is one of many legal battles the death of Maradona has triggered.
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