Ryan Fox discusses the trademark dispute involving Netflix drama “Narcos” with IPWatchdog

October 2017

Narcos, the popular Netflix drama about one of the world’s most notorious drug lords Pablo Escobar, is currently at the center of a trademark dispute that has been brought back into headlines after almost a year. Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, brother of legendary drug lord Pablo, has requested $1 billion from Netflix for what he believes are major IP violations…

Sideman & Bancroft’s Ryan Fox recently sat down with IPWatchdog to discuss the significance of this case and its potential implications moving forward.

Escobar Inc. is accusing Netflix and the Narcos production entity of infringing on its trademark rights over NARCOS and CARTEL WARS. Escobar Inc. owns thirteen pending applications at the USPTO, which do not grant it any rights. Escobar Inc.’s claim is covered by common law trademark rights earned through prior use of the marks.

“Escobar Inc. is effectively saying consumers have come to associate NARCOS and CARTEL WARS with Escobar Inc., and Netflix has unfairly profited off that association through its television show. As an initial matter, it is not clear that Escobar Inc. earned any rights that Netflix or the Narcos production entity could infringe,” Fox explained. “As the Narcos production entity’s counsel noted, there are several questionable issues raised by Escobar Inc.’s trademark filings.”