Brazilian Justice has officially announced this last Thursday, June 24th that it has finally allowed The Walt Disney Company to use the ‘Star’ brand to launch its new SVOD OTT in the country after, days ago, the Lionsgate company, focused on distributing film and TV content, and owner of the US premium channels network Starz and the SVOD OTT Starzplay, has filed a lawsuit against Disney for trademark infringement in the Argentine, Brazilian and Mexican markets.
According to a resolution published this last Thursday by the São Paulo’s Court of Justice (TJSP), in a preliminary examination, ‘it is not apparent that the use of the ‘Star’ trademark constitutes a violation of the rights arising from the registration of the Starzplay brand’.
In the lawsuit, owners of the Starz brand argue that the name ‘Star+’, chosen by Disney to launch its new SVOD OTT in Latin America on August 31st, is similar to ‘Starzplay’, name under which Starz’s SVOD OTT is known, available in several Latin American countries since 2019. In addition, from Starz they report that the similarity between both brands may get users confused. According to Starz, ‘such customer confusion can be impossible to remedy, and will likely only increase as Disney launches its marketing blitz in the region’.
The decision made by Brazilian Justice takes place almost two months before Disney launches Star + in Latin America. The platform will be launched both as a standalone OTT; as well as in a bundle with Disney+, In addition, Disney has officially reported today that the platform will arrive at Latin America with original content produced in the region and for that market. In addition, last February, Disney made a rebranding of Fox pay TV channels in Latin America, owned by the company since its merger with 21st Century Fox, as ‘Star’.