According to the information reported by several specialized websites in Brazil, the US company Lionsgate, owner of the SVOD OTT Starzplay, available in several Latin American markets, and the premium TV network Starz, got a new favorable verdict by the Brazilian Justice , which prevents Disney from using the ‘Star’ and ‘Star+’ brands in the country for its premium channels and its new OTT offer, respectively. Up to now, Starz and Disney have not officially expressed themselves on the initiative.
In early June, the specialized website The Wrap had reported that Starz had filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company for trademark infringement in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. In the lawsuit, the Starz brand owners argued that the ‘Star+’ brand, chosen by Disney to launch its new SVOD OTT in Latin America on August 31st, is similar to Starzplay. In addition, from Starz they report that the similarity between both brands may get users confused. The launch of the new streaming platform is the second step in the arrival of the ‘Star’ brand in Latin America, since, in February, Disney rebranded Fox’s premium channels as ‘Star’ in the region.
The Wrap had also reported that, in April,Starz had challenged Disney’s attempt to register its trademark for the term ‘Star’ in multiple territories. At the end of June, the São Paulo Court of Justice had determined that Disney did not violate any rights with the use of the ‘Star’ brand in the region, and had expressed itself in favor of Disney in this same case. In relation to the Starz lawsuits in Argentina and Mexico, no news is known so far.
In the new verdict, the Brazilian Justice, through Judge Jorge Tosta, reported that, although both Disney and Starz use the word and phonetics ‘Star’ in their streaming products brands, Starzplay was launched before in Latin America and, for that reason, it has priority in the lawsuit.