Lionel Messi has emerged victorious from a bitter court battle with cycling clothing company Massi that had spanned for nearly a decade.
On Thursday, the European Union (EU) Court of Justice dismissed an appeal that had been lodged by intellectual property office EUIPO and the Spanish brand that had sought to prevent Messi from registering his surname as a trademark.
According to Reuters, Messi had filed an application for his surname to trademarked as a sportswear, footwear and equipment brand in 2011, but was met with opposition from Massi, who claimed that it would it create confusion among customers due to the similarities between the two names.
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A complaint against the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was upheld by the EU property office in 2013, with a subsequent appeal by Messi dismissed the following year, before the matter was escalated to the EU's highest court.
In its ruling, the court found that the 33-year-old, who was recently named the world's richest footballer, had developed a reputation that was large enough for customers to be able to make a distinction between the two brands.