The Ultimate Fighting Championship ('UFC'), a violent mixed martial arts competition, is growing in popularity and no-one is more famous within the UFC than Conor McGregor. Mr McGregor, who is currently preparing to fight at UFC 205, known as 'The Notorious', is famous for his extravagant lifestyle as well as his in-ring talent. He is also however preparing for a legal fight outside of the ring as he seeks to oppose several trademark applications incorporating his name or nicknames.
A UK-based businesswoman by the name of Tabassum Khan has applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office to register 3 UK trademarks featuring Mr McGregor's name. She has also sought to register 3 domain names incorporating Mr McGregor's name and his 'The Notorious' nickname.
Mr McGregor, who is looking to expand his earning potential outside of the ring by launching a website and selling products associated with his name, is challenging the trademark applications. It is not yet known if he is also challenging the domain name registrations though this is likely.
Mr McGregor is challenging the trademark applications on the basis that he has built up a substantial reputation in his own name. Allowing the applicant to use the applied for trademarks would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to the distinctive character of his name.
As the most popular fighter in an increasingly popular franchise there is no doubt that Mr McGregor has the reputation in his name that he claims. Ms Khan does not appear to have any connection to Mr McGregor or his name and so it is unlikely that she will be successful in her applications. Nevertheless, this demonstrates the importance of famous people keeping on top of all uses of their name to ensure that nobody takes unfair advantage of it or damages the reputation of their name.
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