Ruling For Starz Blocks Disney’s Star+

Originally published on Dark Horizons by Garth Franklin

While Disney has Hulu within the United States for its more adult fare, for the markets it has launched in the rest of the world they have ‘Star’ which is available as a sixth hub within the Disney+ app.

There’s one key exception to that though which is South America where the Mouse House is launching ‘Star’ as a separate standalone SVOD service named ‘Star+’ on August 31st across the continent.

Like ‘Star’, the ‘Star+’ service will include content from ESPN, FX, Freeform, Hulu, ABC Signature, 20th Television, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, and Hollywood Pictures.

Now though, U.S. premium cabler Starz has managed to block Disney from launching Star+ in Brazil after a Sao Paolo judge reportedly granted a temporary restraining order on Friday.

Starz, which operates the ‘Starzplay’ streaming service in international territories, filed complaints in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. They argued that the name ‘Star Plus’ infringes on its trademarks and will cause customer confusion.

The judge’s ruling states that Disney cannot use the brand name when the service debuts. The judge also noted Disney’s “enormous marketing power” and says that the new service posed a genuine threat to dilute Starz’s brand.

An Argentinian court denied Starz’s request for an injunction, and Mexico has yet to rule on the issue.

Source: Variety

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