Conor McGregor's plan to release a Notorious whiskey brand has been iced

The MMA superstar dropped a trademark bid after running into opposition from an Irish beer brand.

By Gordon Deegan

MMA SUPERSTAR CONOR McGregor has withdrawn his application to register his ‘Notorious’ moniker as a trademark for selling whiskey and other alcoholic drinks across Europe.

Last year, the mixed martial arts fighter’s company, McGregor Sports and Entertainment Ltd, filed the application. He later boasted after his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather that the Notorious brand of Irish whiskey would be “coming soon”.

However, McGregor’s firm has withdrawn the trademark application at the European Union Intellectual Property Office in Spain in the face of opposition from a Carlow brewer.

The founder of the Carlow Brewing Company, Seamus O’Hara, had formally objected to McGregor’s firm registering the trademark.

The businessman, whose firm is behind the O’Hara’s craft beer brand, had already registered the Notorious brand for selling alcohol in 2016.

His representatives told the EU intellectual property office that the identical nature of the trademark was “expressing prohibited by trademark law” and the two brands “cannot coexist peacefully in the market”. McGregor’s firm was ordered to pay €620 in costs to O’Hara. 

Working hard

However, the move to withdraw the application is not expected to impact on McGregor’s plans to launch a whiskey label.

In a recent Instagram post – just days after the trademark application was withdrawn – the fighter said: “Working hard at my whiskey distillery. It is in my opinion, the finest distillery we have on this great island.

“We have the purest soil, with the freshest Irish spring water, and our golden Irish grain and malt is so golden … I respect Jameson, the current number one. But I am coming in strong. I am coming in passionate. I am coming to take over!”

The MMA fighter has not revealed where the whiskey will be produced, however McGregor will need to partner with one of the country’s existing distilleries in the short- to medium-term to bring his brand on the market.

To be sold as Irish whiskey, the drink has to be produced on the island of Ireland and aged for more than three years.

McGregor, whose net worth was estimated at €85 millions in the latest Sunday Times rich list, last year brandished a bottle of whiskey with the brand Notorious on the label. However, in his Instagram post, the word was conspicuous by its absence.

O’Hara did respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Additional reporting Peter Bodkin.

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