Barcelona and Real Madrid have been banned from using the term ‘El Clasico’ to describe their hotly-anticipated derby matches in the future.
The ruling comes from the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, which has ruled that neither club can employ the name to market matches or fuel their historical rivalry for the foreseeable future. Both must immediately cease using the term in all of their promotional materials.
According to Relevo, the decision was made following Real Madrid’s unsuccessful attempt to trademark the term ‘El Clasico.’ The patent office denied their request, asserting that the term was too similar to the brand already established by La Liga, known as ‘ElClásico.’
Further concerns were raised about the potential harm to the reputation of the Spanish domestic league if both teams continued to use the term to refer to their regular derby matches, as well as apprehension over the “likelihood of association” with the previously registered trademark.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have a month to decide whether or not to appeal the decision, knowing the fixture is known that by that term around the globe.
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Indeed, Barcelona vs Real Madrid matches are regarded by many as one of the biggest sporting occasions in the world, drawing in hundreds of millions of spectators from around Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The fixture also draws a huge viewership in Africa and has played host to some of the greatest footballers to ever play the game.
‘El Clasico’ was a once term limited to the two sides playing in domestic competition, but has been marketed by that term in the Champions League, Supercopa de Espana, and Copa del Rey in recent years.
This season has seen Barcelona take overall bragging rights by winning La Liga at a canter, but they were stuffed 4-0 by Real Madrid in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final clash at Camp Nou. Real would go on to lift the trophy after edging out Osasuna.
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