Entrepreneurs in Mexico have united efforts to launch a series of beers named ‘la liga cervezera’ (the beer league). Their first beer label, named after the Argentinean footballer Diego Maradona, has already been registered. The trade mark is a composite mark comprising a word, a number and colours. Specifically, the label is represented by the number 10 which appears directly over the word ‘Maradó’. These are written over vertical lines comprising the colours white and light blue (the t-shirt colours of the Argentinean team). The manufacturers affirm that there are more to come but have yet not been registered. Because of that, they prefer not to disclose the others footballer.
Now then, if we analyse the trade mark, many questions are brought into mind. Firstly, is this a strong mark? Clearly, the colours resemble the t-shirt of the national team. Moreover, the number 10 and the depicted name of the player (not in full) is an illustration of his personal t-shirt. These issues, in a case of infringement, will be considered when determining whether two composite marks are sufficiently similar to support a likelihood of confusion claim. Secondly, is this launch a type of merchandise? Indeed, there is an image and personality involved in the label and thus, some countries do not allow registration of this type of signs. Lastly, we could ask: are the players informed?
We just need to wait the other labels to get underway to see whose t-shirt would be a trade mark in ‘the beer league’ and to come back with answers regarding the distinctiveness of such marks.