Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo owns several trademarks composed of his name, for various products and services, some used, others most certainly for protective purposes. In 2019, he opposed a European Union trademark application CRISTIANO designating in particular products and services in classes 3, 9, 14, 18, 25 and 35.
The two signs CRISTIANO and CRISTIANO RONALDO have been recognized as similar by the Office, as have a large majority of the goods and services concerned. The CRISTIANO mark was therefore rejected. In addition, the soccer player had claimed increased distinctiveness of his mark due to its intensive use for products in class 25, namely in particular clothing and underwear.
The Office recognized that although the use of the name CRISTIANO RONALDO in the evidence provided mainly concerned the athlete’s person and not his mark, this mark nevertheless had some public recognition for the underwear.