Spanish football giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have been banned from using the term ‘El Clasico’ to describe the sport’s most famous derby whenever they meet, as reported by Relevo.
The fixture enjoyed by hundreds of millions of fans worldwide every time it is aired is so popular and famous that you need only use the two words together for others to automatically know which game and two teams are being referred to.
Thanks to the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office denying a request to protect and trademark the term, however, neither of the eternal rivals will be able to use it for marketing purposes moving forward as things currently stand.
The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office made its ruling because it thinks there is a risk of confusion between the trademark the clubs applied for and that already used by La Liga – “ElClásico” – which it considers already renowned and sufficiently established.
The body said that there is a likelihood of confusion which “includes the likelihood of association” with the earlier-registered trademark. It also has concerns about similarities of “symbols” or logos, plus the reputation of the previous brand (La Liga) with which the requested trademark “could generate a link in the mind of the consumer”.
Barca and Real Madrid have a month to decide whether they will launch an appeal. If they do so and the ruling is not overturned, it will come as a major blow to both parties who organize events all over the world when games between them are played and use the term.
El Clasico is a huge commercial resource for the soccer behemoths, and routinely gives them a strengthened hand when it comes to selling television rights across the map.
In 2022/2023 alone, there have been five meetings between the two outfits spread among La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup, and the Copa del Rey. A sixth clash also took place in Las Vegas during pre-season, and a similar friendly will be enjoyed by American fans in Dallas this summer.
The ruling comes at at time when Barca and Real Madrid are at loggerheads with the Spanish top flight’s president Javier Tebas over their support for the breakaway European Super League.
Setbacks like this hardly help quell their frustrations and desire to up sticks, and will no doubt irk Tebas’ counterparts at Camp Nou and the Bernabeu in Joan Laporta and Florentino Perez.