Cristiano Ronaldo sued over CR7 trademark dispute

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Cristiano Ronaldo is bringing his underwear line to the US. (Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo is bringing his underwear line to the US. (Getty Images)

Not many come out on top when they take on Cristiano Ronaldo but one Rhode Island man is hoping he will.

The Portuguese star who plays for Real Madrid is part of a lawsuit against a Rhode Island man named Christopher Renzi over the trademark of CR7. It's an acronym the world-famous Ronaldo goes by and one he was hoping to attach to his new underwear line that's set to hit the US. Problem is, CR7 has already been trademarked by Renzi in the States.

And this isn't necessarily an example of a squatter, either; Renzi has owned the trademark since 2009, which he uses to help sell fitness equipment and merchandise. The CR comes from his initials, just like Ronaldo, while the number seven is from his birthdate.

Still, Ronaldo's lawyers at JBS Textile Group say that the trademark was nabbed by Renzi because of Ronaldo's rising star five years ago. From Reuters:

Court materials showed that JBS, which said it holds the "exclusive, worldwide license" to market Ronaldo's CR7 underwear, believed Renzi trademarked CR7 specifically to profit from Ronaldo's soaring fame.

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" Renzi's branded clothes, said JBS's filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Renzi's lawyers counter that he has had the trademark for some time and while it's conceded that Ronaldo is the more famous user of the acronym, they have had the trademark and have been using it. In other words, it should be a battle. In the end perhaps there's a deal to be worked out without a court ruling given each side has a pretty legitimate argument.

And now, a link to Ronaldo's CR7 underwear page that feature, well, Ronaldo posing in underwear.

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