Diego Maradona prevailed in a lawsuit against the famous Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana.
The reason for the dispute was an event organised by Dolce & Gabbana which aim was to celebrate the symbols and the story of the city of Naples.
During this event, one model showed a blue and white football shirt with number 10 and the name of the former footballer.
As it is well-known, Diego Maradona made a name as one of the best footballers in the world when he played for the local football club Napoli in the 80s of the 20th century.
The problem was that Dolce & Gabbana didn’t ask Maradona whether they can use his name for this event. According to the article 8(3) of The Italian Industrial Property Code, names of famous people are protected when they are used commercially even in case these names are not registered as trademarks.
The Court in Milan ruled in favor of Maradona. The reason for this was the fact that by using the name of the famous footballer, the fashion house could lead consumers to the conclusion that there was a commercial relationships between both parties. Merchandising and celebrities endorsement campaigns are a widespread marketing approach around the world.
In that way, Dolce & Gabbana took advantage of the name and reputation of Diego Maradona.
The fact that the event was only to praise the symbols of Naples could not warrant the use of the footballer’s names because it was possible consumers to be misled to belief that there were commercial relationships between both parties which was not the case.
The Court ordered 78 000 dollars in damages.