Lionel Messi has won a European Union court battle to register his surname as a trademark to sell sports equipment and clothing.

according to Sky Sports, the EU’s second-highest court ruled on Thursday he was famous enough to overcome phonetic similarities with Spanish bicycle clothing brand Massi.

The case reached the EU General Court after the brand successfully complained to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The EUIPO said that Messi and Massi were almost identical visually and phonetically and some would find it difficult to tell the two apart, but the court disagreed.

“Mr Messi is, in fact, a well-known public figure who can be seen on television and who is regularly discussed on television or on the radio,” the court said.

Messi, 30, scored his 600th professional goal last month and is the all-time highest scorer for both Barcelona and Argentina.

The court said that even though some people may not know Lionel Messi, this was unlikely to be the case for those buying sports equipment.

Massi can still appeal the decision at the EU Court of Justice.

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