Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi just added another victory to his list of accomplishments — only this one happened off the field.
Back in 2011, Messi filed an application to trademark his name with the European Union Office for Intellectual Property. Initially, his application was denied because, per the BBC, their dominant elements, “consisting of the terms ‘Massi’ and ‘Messi,’ are almost identical visually and phonetically.”
Seven years later, though, that ruling was overturned. The General Court, the European Union’s second highest court granted Messi the trademark.
“The football player’s fame counteracts the visual and phonetic similarities (with Massi),” the court said, per the BBC. “Mr. Messi is, in fact, a well-known public figure who can be seen on television and who is regularly discussed on television or on the radio.”
The Argentine is widely considered one of the world’s best soccer players, and was listed as the world’s highest earner in the sport with an income of more than $152 million, according to France Football magazine. Now that he can trademark himself, that figure is only likely to climb as his hold on the football world grows.
The 30-year-old scored his 600th goal last month, and is currently the highest all-time scorer both for FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team.
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