Barcelona and Real Madrid can no longer officially call their famous matchup ‘El Clasico.’ The LaLiga duo have arguably the most high-profile rivalry in the soccer world and the phrase is typically used to label the matchup. However, Spanish authorities have chosen not to officially trademark the term.

According to Relevo, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office recently denied a request to trademark ‘El Clasico‘ by the clubs. As a result, Barca and Real now can’t use the phrase for any marketing purposes. Nevertheless, the issue may not exactly be as significant as it appears.

Slight difference to current trademark in place

The official ruling was made because the office felt that there would potentially be confusion with another trademark already in place. Both clubs previously applied for and received a trademark of ‘ElClasico.’ The difference only being a lack of a space between the two words.

LaLiga, and the two teams, currently use this phrase to describe the matchup. The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office claimed that there was an obvious “likelihood of association” between the two terms. Barca and Real have one month to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.

The two clubs have a long history and have cemented themselves as the top teams in Spain. Barca and Real first faced off in May of 1902. They have played against each other nearly 300 times; however, there have been 254 official matches. Real currently have a slim advantage with 102 total victories in the official face-offs.

El Clasico is a relatively new phrase for the matchup

While they have a lengthy, heated rivalry, the actual ‘El Clasico’ term is fairly new. Mainstream media only picked up the phrase in the mid-2000s. Before then, Barcelona games against Real Madrid were ‘The Derby,’ but South American influence brought the term Clasico.

Major derbies in the continent regularly go by Clasicos. The most famous South American fixture between Boca Juniors and River Plate is the Superclasico.