March 4, 2022
According to The National Law Review, the heirs of Argentinian soccer phenomenon, Diego Maradona, have been sued for trademark infringement by Sattvica, S.A. Inc., a company owned by Maradona’s former lawyer that owns the rights to Maradona’s brand name.
The trademark in question is “Maradona” — the surname of two of the parties to the suit (Maradona’s daughters).
It may seem absurd to preclude someone from using their own name, but according to at least one US Appeals Court, a person who wants to use their own name and establish a reputation for that name must “[distinguish their] business and use of the name from the business owning the trademark rights.”
Sattvica argues that the daughters are not using the name to establish a reputation for themselves, but are instead using their father’s likeness for purposes of marketing goods traditionally associated with the “Maradona” mark.
Authors: Hannah Johnson and Larissa Fulop