IBIDEM secures compensation in football sponsorship IP litigation
IBIDEM Abogados has successfully represented Villarreal CF and Angaco before the Provincial Court of Alicante, securing €122,000 and €1.7 million compensation respectively
IBIDEM Abogados, the firm led by Enrique Martín, has achieved a landmark ruling in the complex world of Intellectual Property Law. The firm has successfully represented Villarreal Club de Fútbol and the Elche-based company Inversiones Angaco in a long process that has lasted almost a decade and has resulted in compensation for the firm’s clients.
The case dates back to 2013 when Inversiones Angaco signed a distribution agreement with the Chinese sportswear brand Xtep, whose logo was an ‘X’ and was registered with the World Intellectual Property Organisation. After signing this agreement, Angaco (through Xtep) became a sponsor of Villarreal, whose players began to wear the brand’s shirts in their Spanish league matches and in European competitions.
But German company Leineweber Gmbh sued both Villarreal and Angaco on the grounds that Xtep’s logo collided with that of the ‘Brax’ brand, of which the German company was the owner. After a complex legal process, in January 2016 the EU Trademark Court, Number 1 in Alicante ruled in favour of Leineweber, considering that both ‘X’ were too similar.
Angaco had to cease its activity and Villarreal had to stop displaying the Xtep ‘X’ on its shirts, covering its logos.
But both the sports club and the sponsoring company’s management instructed IBIDEM Abogados on the further litigation before the Provincial Court of Alicante, claiming compensation for damages that the provisional execution of the judgement had caused them, for the damages caused by the closure of the Xtep shops in Spain and the costs of withdrawing the textile material from the market in the case of Angaco, while Villarreal claimed compensation for being presented to the public as an “infringing club”.
Finally, the court awarded Angaco in 2020 a €1.7 million compensation, one of the highest amounts awarded by this court in its history, while in the last few days it has been Villarreal CF that has obtained the compensation, which amounts to €122,000 in reputation damages.
IBIDEM Abogados represented the claimants with a team led by its managing partner Enrique Martín (pictured), with the assistance of Litigation of counsel Oscar Herreros.