The Chargers announced Thursday morning that the team will move to L.A. – but they made moves to trademark the phrases LA Chargers and Los Angeles Chargers a year ago.
The Chargers Football Company LLC (the company that owns the football team) 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.”
Unfortunately for the team, its “LA Chargers” trademark application ran into an issue. On Dec. 20, LA Gear, the ‘80s-era athletic apparel company, filed a Notice of Opposition with the Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board related to the apparel portion of the “LA Chargers” application, on the grounds that it conflicts with LA Gear’s trademarks, and is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of the goods.
“Likelihood of confusion” is the core of any trademark infringement claim. The law protects the rightful owner of a trademark against new entrants into the market who are using either an identical or, as LA Gear alleges, a confusingly similar mark.
In the opposition, the Chargers are referred to as “Applicant” and LA Gear is “Opposer.” The document lists 22 U.S. trademark registrations owned by LA Gear. The oldest dates back to 1985. Two of LA Gear’s registrations are in the form of logos that consist of the letters “LA” – meaning those logo registrations do not include the word “Gear.”
The opposition states: “Customers and potential customers are likely to believe that Applicant’s Goods under Applicant’s Mark originate from, or are sponsored and approved by Opposer when that is not the case. Any dissatisfaction with Applicant’s Goods would reflect upon and irreparably damage Opposer’s reputation and goodwill embodied in Opposer’s Marks and name.”
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Hilarious. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.
Wait. You don't suppose this could mean a change of decision......
Happy to see that the saga is over. Now, perhaps, the so-called city leaders can attend to real problems like fixing the infrastructure before it is in a complete state of collapse.