Owner of the Starzplay platform, the Starz company obtained an injunction in the 2nd Chamber of Business Law of the São Paulo Court of Justice. The decision prevents Disney from using the Star+ brand –name of the new streaming service from the Mickey Mouse conglomerate that will be launched in the Brazilian market on August 31st.
The sentence was obtained as a matter of urgency last Friday (23). That is, the judge ruled that Disney cannot use the name Star+ while the court hears the case in a new instance. There is still no forecast when the final decision will be released. But, due to the importance of the case, the tendency is for it to be appreciated soon.
O TV news had access to the document. In the report, Judge Jorge Tosta granted the request for early appeal protection because, according to him, the Starz group proved to have priority over the use of the Starzplay brand in Brazil.
For Tosta, it was clear that both groups use the word and phonetics Star in their products and that if Starz arrived first and has priority to use, this needs to be respected.
“A consumer, referring to the streaming services offered by the parties, will not do so by saying that they watched a movie on ‘Starzplay’ or ‘Star Plus’, but simply on ‘Star,'” Tosta said.
The magistrate also commented that, if Disney uses the brand it intends, Starz could be harmed by the risk of confusing the consumer: “There is a possibility that the consumer may be confused or link one brand to another, as if it were from the same business group or economic, causing harm to the holder of the registration or patent”.
The appeal was granted ad referendum. That is, until final pronouncement. Disney must refrain from using the expression “Star Plus” or “Star+” in its new streaming service, under penalty of a daily fine set at around one hundred thousand reais. The company can still appeal the guardianship.
understand the fight
The battle began in December, when Disney decided to end the Fox brand in Brazil and change the names of all products from the former company to Star, the company’s streaming service brand aimed at adult audiences.
Since 2018, Starz has owned the Starzplay trademark registration, a service that became available the following year. The company decided to file a lawsuit in court, in addition to filing challenges to Disney’s requests with the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property), the body responsible for authorizing or not the use of commercial names.
In court, Starz claimed that both companies operate in the same market and it, as the owner of Starzplay, saw as an obstacle the use of Star, Star Channel, Star Plus and variations such as Comedy, Action, Classics, Fun, Life and Hits. The lawyers filed a request for urgent relief in an attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction before the trial.
In the first instance, Disney got a win. Now, it has been reversed by Starz. In addition to Brazil, there are actions between companies in other Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Argentina.
Disney bets heavily on the strength of the sport to leverage Star+ subscriptions. In addition to shows like The Simpsons, The Walking Dead and This is Us, the platform will feature the entire Disney sports menu and live signals from ESPN and Fox Sports.
Among the events that will be featured on Star+ are Libertadores da América; NFL (American football); NBA (basketball); tennis competitions such as the US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon; Bellator’s MMA fights; MotoGP races, among others. More rights should arrive soon. The project is to further strengthen this portfolio.