Starz Blocks Disney From Using ‘Star+’ Name in Brazil; Judge Cites Confusion Between Brands
Disney will not be able to use the Star+ name for its international streaming brand in Brazil when it launches next month after a temporary restraining order was granted against the streaming giant by a Sao Paolo judge.
Lionsgate-owned Starz took Disney to court in advance of the anticipated August 31 launch of Star+. The TRO means that Disney cannot use the “Star+” name for now, because it can too easily be confused with “Starz.”
“The plaintiff (Starz) proved to have priority of use and registration in Brazil over the wordmark ‘STARZPLAY,’ including for identifying entertainment services, which grants it the right to protect its reputation and material integrity,” according to a statement released by Judge Jorge Tosta.
Tosta went on to say that Star+ “will offer entertainment services identical to those already provided by the plaintiff, especially in relation to streaming service.”
Disney+ is an ad-free video streaming service with over 13,000 series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, The Muppets, and more. It is available in 61 countries and 21 languages.
The Disney streaming service costs $7.99 / month, or $79.99 / year ($6.67 / month). You can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $13.99 a month (cheaper than Netflix).
The service includes 25+ new original series, 10+ original movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault. You can stream original series like “The Mandalorian”, “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, “Loki”, and “Monsters at Work.”
You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney Plus content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.
He went on to explain the possible confusion with the name. Starz offers a global streaming service, Starzplay, which was trademarked in Brazil in 2019.
“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 ‘STARPLUS,’ but simply through ‘STAR,’” 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.”
STARZ offers a subscription video streaming service that gives access to content on STARZ without the need of a cable subscription. With your subscription, you’ll get access to all of their current originals like Outlander, Vida, and Power.
With your subscription, you’ll also get access to their critically acclaimed catalog of previous shows, as well as past seasons of shows like “Friday Night Lights”, “The Bernie Mac Show”, “ALF”, and “Miami Vice” and “Knight Rider.”
STARZ also has new-release films from Sony Pictures, which appear on the streaming service 7-8 months after they are in theaters. Every month they also have hundreds of additional older movies from major movie studios.
You can subscribe for $8.99 a month either directly from STARZ, or through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.
If the Star+ name is used when the service makes its debut in Brazil prior to the case being settled, Disney would have to pay a fine. The judge believes that Disney’s Star+ brand may be a threat to Starz, mentioning Disney’s “enormous marketing power.”
Lionsgate and Starz have filed similar lawsuits in Mexico and Argentina. In Mexico, nothing has happened with the case yet. An Argentinian court will be moving forward with the case after denying Starz a temporary restraining order.