Conor McGregor has challenged some of the strongest competitors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and even in the boxing ring when he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017. Now, McGregor is going to be facing his toughest challenge in another competitive environment — the world of intellectual property protection.
McGregor, through his owned company McGregor Sports and Entertainment, filed a European Union trademark application on February 9, 2018 to register the mark “The Champ Champ.” A major sports brand has decided to make it much more difficult for McGregor to accomplish his goal of registration through a submitted filing just one day prior to the end of a period wherein the mark was published for opposition.
Sports apparel company Champion has filed an opposition against McGregor’s mark, which was submitted to cover a variety of classes of goods and services, including clothing, games, health-related services, restaurants, hair salons and cosmetics. The opposition makes reference to Champion’s word and logo marks that also cover a wide array of classes, including the Class 25 clothing designation, which is surely of chief concern.
Opposition proceedings such as this can last roughly a year, which means that McGregor and his company would be taking a big risk in using “The Champ Champ” mark in the meantime. Without a registration, the door is opened a bit more to Champion succeeding in a trademark infringement action, assuming that McGregor uses “The Champ Champ” mark in commerce and Champion legitimately fears a likelihood of confusion in the relevant marketplace.
While this opponent may be the toughest that McGregor has faced thus far in the realm of intellectual property, it certainly is not his initial challenge in the space. McGregor has previously been opposed by Make Up Cosmetics (MAC) and Mac Jeans with regard to his application to register a “Mystic Mac” trademark as well as by Switzerland’s largest retail company Migros in connection with McGregor’s attempt to register “I AM BOXING.”