Here’s an interesting development. During Disney’s Investors Day, they revealed their global expansion. Europe and Canada got Star as a new brand directly in Disney+ to add access to mature content. The United States keeps its Hulu branding as a separate service, but they’ve tested ut integrating multiple streaming options by integrating ESPN+. Their idea for the Latin America market was to create a Star-focused service titled Star Plus.
Yet, it looks like those plans were swiftly halted by a judge in São Paulo. Starz successfully blocked their launch in Brazil with complaints on trademark infringement still active in Mexico. Argentinian court has denied Starz’s complaint. Judge Jorge Tosta wrote the following on the decision:
The plaintiff proved to have priority of use and registration in Brazil over the word mark ‘STARZPLAY,’ including for identifying entertainment services, which grants it the right to protect its reputation and material integrity.
Starz has established its Starzplay streaming service and launched it in the Latin American market in 2019. Of course, it isn’t the exact same title but they have pointed out that Star Plus and Starzsplay will get generalized terms as “Star.” Plus, Disney’s marketing power also could harm Starz brand. It’s an interesting case, as it opens Disney to some new hurdles. They either have to rethink their strategy in Brazil or create unique branding for the location. Perhaps they’ll decide to extend the Hulu brand internationally as a result.
Of curse, they can also take the European route by integrating it into Disney+, but the service was going to include ESPN offerings. So, there’s also the Indian Disney+ Hotstar branding that is more distinctive. It’s likely they’ll wait out until Mexico makes their decision before rolling out the brand, but it’s an interesting development that could have repercussions for Disney’s overall branding strategy. The official Twitter channel teased a strange new verified channel simply called The Streamer:
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) July 26, 2021