Forced To Change Name Soon? Inter Miami Loses First Round Of Trademark Battle Against Inter Milan

Thursday, 13 February 2020
In April 2019, Italian club Internazionale took up up a trademark case with the Inter Miami soccer team. Now after Inter Milan won the first round in the battle, Inter Miami could face a name change after legal battle with Inter Milan.



Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, known in English as Inter Miami CF or simply Inter Miami, is due to begin play in Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2020, with their debut match taking place in early Major 2020. Inter Miami CF is owned by David Beckham.


Inter Miami Could Be Forced To Change Name




Internazionale have won a key battle in a trademark infringement lawsuit against Major League Soccer, claiming the term ‘Inter’ is synonymous with the Serie A club. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) dismissed one of the team’s two arguments, according to a report published Monday.

According to Miami lawyer David Winker from Law.com, the Italian club appears to have overcome the significant legal threshold of “likely confusion”, adding he believes the ruling “will result in Miami having to change its name”.

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“The USPTO found that MLS’ claim that there are a number of clubs around the world that use Inter in their name – SC Internacional of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Inter Nashville FC, Inter Atlanta FC, FC Inter Turku (Finland), NK Inter Zapresic (Croatia), Inter Leipzig (Germany) and Inter de Grand-Goave (Haiti) – did not meet its burden to show that MLS has valid proprietary, or ownership, right in the name, Inter,” the report said.

Internazionale submitted a trademark application to the USPTO in 2014 to make ‘Inter’ and exclusive brand in the United States, barring other clubs from marketing themselves with the same shorthand, while Inter Miami CF’s subsequent application in 2018 has been suspended.

MLS’s outlined a two-pronged argument in a notice of opposition filed last year against Internazionale’s application: that ‘Inter’ is a widely used shorthand in soccer and that a trademark on the term will cause a “likelihood of confusion” among the various teams that already use it.



"In effect, it will come down to Inter Milan convincing the USPTO that consumers think of Inter Milan when they hear the term Inter." [Law.com]

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