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Dutch firm steps up efforts to hinder Conor McGregor's plans to expand brand across Europe

The company says it acquired the complete McGREGOR trademark portfolio and all other McGregor intellectual property rights in 2017.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

A DUTCH FIRM that sells clothing and accessories under the ‘McGREGOR’ brand has stepped its efforts to hinder Conor McGregor’s plans to expand his money-making brand across Europe.

This follows the Schiphol-based McGregor IP B.V. now lodging comprehensive grounds of objection against Conor McGregor’s main firm, McGregor Sports and Entertainment Ltd (MESL) seeking to register the ‘The McGregor Follows’ and ‘McGregor Productions’ trademarks.

Last December, McGregor IP B.V. gave notice that it was objecting to the two proposed MESL trademarks and now it has lodged documents with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) at Alicante in Spain outlining its detailed arguments in support of its opposition. 

The company states that it acquired the complete McGREGOR trademark portfolio and all other McGregor intellectual property rights on 15 October 2017 – two months after Conor McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather. 

The objection states that meanwhile, McGregor IP “has relaunched the McGREGOR brand in the European market”. 

It explained that the McGREGOR branded products are being sold under license from McGregor IP through ‘bricks and mortar’ stores and online within the Netherlands, Belgium, France and other parts of Europe.

The objection states that the McGREGOR brand’s story started in the early 1920s with member of the McGregor clan, Scottish hat maker and entrepreneur, David Doniger emigrating to the US.

It states that Doniger introduced the McGregor Sportswear collection in 1921 and today, “McGregor is now a full lifestyle brand that encompasses clothing, accessories, footwear and home goods”.

‘Confusion amongst the public’

The objection states that McGregor Sports and Entertainment Ltd (MESL) was established in 2014 “as a means of tapping into Conor McGregor’s earnings”.

It states that based on the goods and services for which MSEL has applied its various trademark applications, MSEL will also design, manufacture, distribute and sell apparel, footwear, accessories and other products with a focus on a leisure sporting life. 

McGREGOR IP state that there is a likelihood of confusion amongst the public between the brands because of the trademarks’ high similarity.

The Dutch firm states that consumers might believe that the goods covered by the trademark proposed by the Conor McGregor firm are part of the products marketed by McGregor IP and are hence coming from the same company or from an economically linked company. 

As a result, McGregor IP has told the EUIPO to refuse the applications as the opposition is well founded.

McGregor IP has also requested the EUIPO that it be awarded its costs.

The EUIPO has now told the Conor McGregor firm, MESL that it has until 28 July to respond to the points made by McGregor IP and a decision is expected on the applications before the end of the year.

Last year, McGregor’s plans to obtain a trademark for his planned Notorious whiskey came unstuck after he withdrew his trademark application for the whiskey in the face of opposition from a Carlow brewer who had already secured the trademark for Notorious.

McGregor subsequently launched his whiskey, settling on his second choice name, Proper No Twelve for the brand.

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Gordon Deegan

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