The stars aren’t aligned for Disney. A judge has ruled that Disney can’t use the ‘Star+’ name for its streaming service in Brazil because of potential brand confusion with Lionsgate’s Starz cable and streaming network.
The court Friday granted a Starz request on appeal for a preliminary injunction — or temporary restraining order (TRO) – saying Disney can’t use the name Star when the service rolls out in late August. An earlier court had denied the injunction.
“The plaintiff [Starz] proved to have priority of use and registration in Brazil over the wordmark ‘STARZPLAY,’ including for identifying entertainment services, which grants it the right to protect its reputation and material integrity,” wrote Judge Jorge Tosta in his decision.
Disney has been pushing the Star branding for streaming services in other countries, such as India where it is known as Hotstar.
Following the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney is renaming the Fox Channel to the Star Channel and Star Plus in Brazil.
The judge says this “will offer entertainment services identical to those already provided by the plaintiff, especially in relation to streaming service. There is the possibility of the consumer confusing or linking one trademark to another, as if it belonged to the same business or economic group.”
Reportedly Lionsgate/Starz has filed similar suits in Argentina and Mexico. However, Lionsgate did not file suits in other international territories including Europe where Disney’s STAR+ service will be bundled onto the Disney+ platform.
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