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Disney Blocked From Launching Star+ Streaming Service in Brazil Amid Starz Lawsuit

The service is scheduled to launch on Aug. 31

Starz has successfully blocked Disney from launching its Star+ streaming service in Brazil after filing a trio of lawsuits to prevent the service from going live in three Latin American markets.

Last month, the Lionsgate-owned network filed trademark infringement lawsuits against Disney in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, arguing that the name of Disney’s forthcoming streaming service is too similar to Starz, particularly its own streaming service StarzPlay, which has been available in Latin America since 2019.

Judge Jorge Tosta last week granted the request for a preliminary injunction in the ongoing trademark dispute, overturning a lower court ruling.

“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 wrote in his ruling, arguing that allowing the name Star+ would probably cause “confusion to the consumer public.”

Tosta acknowledged the potential risk of diluting Starz’s trademark, “especially due to the enormous marketing power of [Disney].”

A spokesperson for Disney did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Disney had initially planned to expand Hulu overseas but changed course last year, and instead launched a new general entertainment international streaming service under the Star brand, an offshoot of Star India that Disney acquired as part of its $71 billion acquisition of Fox assets completed in 2019.

In most international territories, Star is folded into Disney+ as a content hub, much like Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. In Latin American territories, however, Disney planned to break out Star into a separate streaming service called Star+.