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Barcelona, Real Madrid prevented from using El Clasico

Barcelona and Real Madrid have been banned from using the term El Clasico, used to define the fixture of their iconic rivalry. This comes after the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office denied a request using the term as a trademark.

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Last updated: 27.05.2023
Barcelona and Real Madrid prevented from using El Clasico

Barcelona and Real Madrid have been banned from using the term 'El Clasico', used to define the fixture of their iconic rivalry.

One of the greatest football derbies in European and world football between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will not be known as ‘El Clasico’ from now on. This comes after the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office denied a request using the term as a trademark. Two behemoths of Spanish football have millions of fans around the globe and use the name to associate themselves with this huge football rivalry. They will have to turn to a new identity of the derby now should the ruling upholds in future.

The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office made the decision because they think there is a risk of confusion with the term. The ‘El Clasico’ trademark used by both clubs is considered to be conflicting with the one used by La Liga, ‘ElClásico’. The term used by the top-division league in Spain is already renowned and sufficiently established. Hence, the two clubs are prevented from using the market of the game by the same for their promotion.


What is El Clasico?

The famous derby between Barcelona and Real Madrid is defined or known as the ‘El Clasico’. The term is used whenever both sides collide against each other. It is one of the biggest and one of the most-watched fixtures in the world. El Clasico is played twice in a La Liga season and occasionally in Copa Del Rey or the UEFA Champions League. The fixture with the name has also been used in pre-season friendly with tours outside of Europe.

The first El Clasico was played in May 1902 in the now denounced Copa de la Coronación which Barcelona won 3-1 against Real Madrid. So far, including the exhibition games, there have been 295 meetings between the two clubs in history. The Catalan giants lead in the head-to-head record with 128 wins compare to 108 wins by the Los Blancos. 59 encounters have ended in a draw.

However, Real Madrid have won more competitive meetings with 102, two more than their arch-rivals. Many football legends have graced this derby including player rivalries from László Kubala and Alfredo Di Stéfano in the 1950s to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the modern era. The Argentinian holds the record of being the top-scorer in the Clasico with 26 goals. While his former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets made an all-time appearance in this fixture with 48.     


Ruling against ‘El Clasico’


— Football Talk (@FootballTalkHQ) May 26, 2023

According to the reports from Relevo, the decision was made after Real Madrid’s failure to make the ‘El Classico’ a trademark for the derby with Barcelona. The patent office said the term was too similar to that of La Liga and includes the likelihood of association with the pre-registered trademark. It could potentially harm the reputation of the league and the trademark "could generate a link in the mind of the consumer".

Barcelona and Real Madrid have a month to decide whether they will launch an appeal. If they do so and the decision of the ruling stays, both clubs will not be able to use the term for their own purpose or in competitions outside of La Liga. The name has been synonymous with this great rivalry for more than a century and it will no doubt come as a huge blow for the clubs and its fans.

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