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Disney and Lionsgate Clash Over Star(z) Brand in Brazil

Starz
(Image credit: Starz)

A judge in Brazil has granted Lionsgate’s request for a temporary restraining order against Disney, which precludes Disney from using its Star+ brand for its local streaming service.

Lionsgate is arguing that consumers will confuse its Starz global brand with Star+.

“Obviously, a consumer, when referring to the streaming services offered by the parties, will not do so by saying that he watched a movie through ‘StarzPlay’ or ‘Star+,’ but simply through ‘Star,’” Judge Jorge Tosta said. “There is the possibility of the consumer confusing or linking one trademark to another, as if it belonged to the same business or economic group.

“There is [also] the possibility of the consumer confusing or linking one trademark to another, as if it belonged to the same business or economic group,” Tosta added. 

According to Deadline, which first reported on the dispute, Lionsgate is also seeking to stop proliferation of the Star+ brand in Mexico and Argentina, territories in which Disney is also seeking to launch Star+ as a standalone direct-to-consumer streaming brand, not as a service folded into Disney Plus, as it is packaged in Europe. 

Disney acquired India Star, along with the company's Hotstar streaming service, when it bought 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets two years ago. It has been using the "Star" brand to proliferate its streaming operations globally. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.