Disney Sued By Starz Over Trademark Infringement In Latin America

Walt Disney Com DIS is being sued by Starz, a Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF-A) company, for trademark infringement related to the release of its new Star+ streaming service in Latin America.

What Happened: Starz’ streaming service StarzPlay has been available in Latin America since 2019, according to a report in the entertainment industry news site The Wrap. Starz has filed lawsuits in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, claiming that Disney’s upcoming Star+ service is too closely named to the existing Starz and would lead to consumer confusion.

“Disney’s decision to launch a standalone general entertainment streaming service under the name ‘Star+’ and rename its existing channels to ‘Star’ in Latin America — despite the prior existence of and trademark registrations for Starz’s own similarly named StarzPlay general entertainment streaming service — is extremely likely to cause customer confusion in the Latin American marketplace and infringes on Starz’s marks,” Starz said in its lawsuit.

“Such customer confusion can be impossible to remedy and will likely only increase as Disney launches its marketing blitz in those regions.”

Related Link: Disney Executive Files Lawsuit Alleging LGBTQ Discrimination

Why It Happened: Disney rolled out Star last December, initially aiming at the European, Canadian and New Zealand markets with content from its franchises and studios that do not carry the Disney brand. It has since expanded into several Asian markets.

Star+ is scheduled to premiere in Latin America on Aug. 31, will include the same content plus live sports from ESPN.

Starz launched in 1994 as a cable television network and was acquired by Lionsgate in 2016. Disney had licensed its feature films made after 1994 to Starz prior to launching Disney+ in November 2019.

(Photo by J.H. Janßen / Wikimedia.)

Posted In: NewsLegalGlobalMedialatin americalawsuitStar+Starzstreamingtrademark infringement