When the GOAT conversation regarding boxing comes up, the name Ali will likely appear near or at the top of everyone’s list. However, not many people thought there would be a day when Ali v. Ali could be a reality.

A Notice of Opposition was filed by the company that owns Muhammad Ali’s trademark, attempting to stop his daughter Laila Ali from registering her name.

It’s pretty clear that the former women’s boxing champ has no ill will against her father’s estate, but what is happening here?

Based on information from attorney Josh Gerben, the root of the issues goes all the way back to 2006, when Muhammad Ali sold rights to his trademarks and likeness to Authentic Brands Group (ABG) for $50 million.

Muhammad Ali’s daughter Laila recently filed a trademark to register her name. However, ABG believes that the pending trademark is too similar since she and her father share the same last name. Therefore, the company’s attempt at opposition seeks to stop possible confusion.

ABG has filed the official Notice of Opposition against the trademark of “Laila Ali.” If it goes through full litigation, it could take up to two years to resolve the matter.

According to Josh Gerben, Authentic Brand Group’s filing has three listed complaints in its opposition.

  • False Connection: consumers will believe that Laila Ali’s trademark is connected to Muhammad Ali and that any goods sold under her name are licensed by Authentic Brands Group.
  • Likelihood of Confusion: the “Laila Ali” and “Muhammad Ali” trademarks are so similar that they will be confused.
  • Dilution by Tarnishment: the registration of the “Laila Ali” trademark will harm the reputation of Authentic Brands Group and tarnish its rights in the “Muhammad Ali” trademark.

Laila Ali has not commented on the issue. However, based on the subject matter expertise of Attorney Josh Gerben, the case would likely best be played outside of the courtroom in a settlement agreement.

ABG filed a similar opposition for Shaquille O’Neal against the company that manages his son Shaqir. In addition to Muhammad Ali and O’Neal, Authentic Brands Group owns the licensing rights for Michael Jackson and several other high-profile celebrities.