Saturday, July 26, 2008


The NBA's Seattle Supersonics have moved to Oklahoma City and will play there from now on. The team's new name is not yet known. However, the NBA filed the applications for six different trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Those names include Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind.

What does this mean?

Apart from the name being chosen from one of these selections, not much. Filing a trademark application at this point in time only means that the NBA has a bona fide intent to use the mark in interstate commerce. This does not mean that the NBA is using the mark and, in fact, the NBA is unable to own a registered trademark until the mark is used in interstate commerce (and can provide proof). As you can guess, in trademark law parlance, this is called an intent-to-use trademark application or a 1(b) application, after the applicable section of law.

What makes this a little difficult to swallow is that the NBA does NOT have a bona fide intent to use five of the six trademark applications. Only one of those names will be chosen.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not review intent-to-use trademark applications for their good faith. Still, I am troubled because the attorneys for the NBA know that only one mark will be used and five of those six will not be used.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home