Last week, the professional football team that still calls San Diego home filed applications to trademark “Los Angeles Chargers.”
Don’t panic: This doesn’t necessarily mean that the team is moving to L.A.
On Jan. 14, the Chargers Football Company LLC filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register “LA Chargers” and “Los Angeles Chargers” as trademarks in connection with a variety of goods and services, including merchandise such as toys and apparel, and, of course, “professional football games and exhibitions.”
The team’s filings simply state that the organization has a bona fide intent to use those trademarks at some point in the next few years.
After practicing trademark law for about a dozen years, I can comfortably state there’s a big gap between a bona fide intent to use a trademark and the mark actually being used in commerce. It’s common for companies to file these types of trademark applications for brand names that they may not actually use.
This is because filing what’s called an “Intent-to-Use” application simply reserves, for a limited time, the exclusive right to use that brand name in connection with those goods and services. There’s a very good reason for this. Companies often have products and services in development and are considering a variety of brand names. It would be difficult for companies to go through this branding process if a competitor could simply start using one of those brand names in the meantime. As a result, the USPTO created the “Intent-to-Use” filing. It’s a placeholder.
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LA does not like Spanos. End of story:
There is absolutely no way that Spanos could afford sharing 50% of the cost of the $3 Bil. stadium + $550 relocation fee. The Inglewood location is totally out of Spanos' league.
This trademark mickey mouse business costs nothing to pursue and promotes the false sense that Spanos has an option in LA which in reality he doesn't.