Lionsgate-owned Starz has filed trademark infringement suits in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, seeking to force Disney to change the Star+ name of its upcoming streaming service in Latin America.
Starz argues that the Star+ — now set to launch in late August — is too similar to the name of its own streamer, StarzPlay, which operates in 58 countries and has been in Latin America since 2019.
Disney has launched Star as a content hub within Disney+ in 17 countries, but chose to launch it as a standalone streamer dubbed Star+ in Latin America. Disney has used the Star brand for its international streaming services based on its acquisition of Star India as part of its deal for Fox properties in 2019.
“Disney’s decision to launch a standalone general entertainment streaming service under the name ‘Star+’ and rename its existing channels to ‘Star’ in Latin America — despite the prior existence of and trademark registration’s Starz’s own similarly named StarzPlay general entertainment streaming service — is extremely likely to cause customer confusion in the Latin American marketplace and infringes on Starz’s marks,” asserts the lawsuit, first reported on by The Wrap.
"Such customer confusion can be impossible to remedy and will likely only increase as Disney launches its marketing blitz in those regions."
Starz said Disney had five days from the filing of its suit on June 9 to respond.
Disney did not immediately respond to The Wrap's request for comment on the lawsuit.