UK & World News
Legal Battle Over Ronaldo's CR7 Moniker
A legal battle has begun in the US over the trademark CR7, the shorthand used by football star Cristiano Ronaldo for his line of underwear.
An American fitness enthusiast, Christopher Renzi, registered the moniker five years ago.
But he says he has received letters from lawyers for JBS Textile Group, the Danish company behind Ronaldo's CR7 line, demanding that he give up the trademark, the Reuters news agency reported.
The company said it has "imminent plans" to enter the US market with the CR7 underwear.
JBS, which said it holds the "exclusive, worldwide license" to market Ronaldo's CR7 underwear, has also asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Mr Renzi's trademark, according to court documents cited by the agency.
Mr Renzi, 43, is seeking to obtain legal declaration that he owns the trademark and filed a complaint this week in Rhode Island federal court.
Legal documents showed JBS believes Mr Renzi trademarked CR7 specifically to profit from Ronaldo's fame as one of the top footballers and highest-paid sports stars in the world.
CR7 was "so closely tied to the fame and reputation of Cristiano Ronaldo, that a connection with the soccer player would immediately be presumed by the general public when encountering" Mr Renzi's branded clothes, said JBS's filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Mr Renzi put the CR7 moniker on jeans and T-shirts, his lawyer said. He also has a website advertising a seven-minute fitness workout, also under the CR7 name.
According to the complaint, Mr Renzi adopted the mark based on his initials and the day he was born, October 7.
Mr Renzi's lawyer, Michael Feldhuhn, conceded that the Portuguese star of Real Madrid is a more famous user of CR7, but added: "It's really based on who's using it first.
"We can show we were the first use of the CR7 name in commerce in America."