November 2019. Legendary Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t just score on the pitch, but off it as well. The star player recently succeeded in getting the EU trademark CR7, which had been registered by a hijacker, struck off the register.
In 2011, the Spanish company Gourmet and Premium Brands claimed the letter and number combination as a European trademark for jewellery, wine, beer and soft drinks. Ronaldo had been given the nickname CR7 when he played for Manchester United wearing the number 7 shirt, between 2003 and 2009.
Thorn in the side
The EU registration by Gourmet had been a thorn in Ronaldo’s side for some time. But rather than taking the company to court for registering the trademark in bad faith, he instead claimed it had failed to use CR7 for more than 5 years. Under such circumstances, a trademark registration can be cancelled.
Lack of use
The claim succeeded. Gourmet was unable to prove it had seriously used CR7 for either jewellery, wine, beer or soft drinks in the past 5 years. Result: the registration was overturned and Ronaldo now has one fewer hijacker to contend with.