Diego Maradona’s heirs win EU trademark fight
BRUSSELS — The EU’s Hand of God has ruled.
Heirs to Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona have won a battle over the use of the late star’s name for several brands in the European Union, the General Court of the EU ruled Tuesday.
Maradona, who died at 60 in November 2020, had registered a trademark under his name for clothing, footwear, hospitality and IT services with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in 2008.
After his death, the 1986 World Cup winner’s former lawyer, Matias Morla, applied in January 2021 to get the trademark transferred to a company he had created, called Sattvica.
“The Court dismisses Sattvica’s action,” the lower court of the Court of Justice of the EU said in a statement.
“The documents produced by that company do not formally justify an assignment of the trade mark in its favour under a contract signed between the two parties (Sattvica and Maradona),” the statement added.
“Furthermore, as Maradona had died before the request for registration of the transfer was submitted, Sattvica could not correct the irregularities found,” the statement said.
Sattvica can still appeal the court’s decision in front of the the EU’s top court, the higher court of the Court of Justice, located in Luxembourg.
Maradona coined the iconic football phrase “Hand of God” after scoring a goal with his hand in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals against England, in one of the most contentious actions in football history.
His death triggered a series of legal battles. The football star’s nurses are being prosecuted for providing him inadequate care, while his heirs — namely five of his eight children — are fighting over his estate.
Several estimates of Maradona’s wealth circulated at the time of his death, ranging from $75 million to $100 million.
The case is T-299/22 Sattvica v EUIPO.