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Revolt Against The Bolts Los Angeles Chargers Face Opposition

Revolt Against the Bolts!: Los Angeles Chargers Face Opposition

Trady

Trady

22 February 201711 min read

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Revolt Against the Bolts!: Los Angeles Chargers Face Opposition

Chargers' Move to Los Angeles

In January 2017 the Chargers announced they were moving back to where it all began, Los Angeles. Even though San Diego had been the Chargers home for 56 years, the team was established in 1959 in Los Angeles.

Many Chargers fans were shocked to hear the news. But the relocation to LA was not planned overnight. The team took steps to protect its intellectual property rights nearly a year before they announced they were relocating to Los Angeles.

Steps to Protect Intellectual Property Rights

In January 2016, the Chargers Football Company, LLC filed for two trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for LA CHARGERS and LOS ANGELES CHARGERS. The team’s trademark applications covered a wide variety of goods and service, which is type for professional sports-related trademark applications, ranging anywhere from football helmets to pet toys.

Goods and Services Covered by Trademark Applications

“Clothing, footwear and headwear, namely, caps, hats, visors, headbands, ear muffs, wristbands, tops, T-shirts, tank tops, sleepwear, golf shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, turtlenecks, jackets, neckties, bibs not of paper, jerseys, coats, robes, ponchos, sneakers, gloves, scarves, mittens, aprons, shorts, sweatpants, jeans, pants, socks, underwear, swimwear, rompers” in Class 025.

“Football helmets; downloadable software in the nature of mobile applications for displaying information relating to football exhibitions, football schedules, media guides, audio and visual recordings relating to football exhibitions, downloadable computer game and video game software, downloadable multimedia file containing artwork, text, audio, video, games, and internet web links relating to football exhibitions; downloadable electronic publications, namely, magazines and newsletters, all in the field of football; cell phone covers; decorative magnets; magnetic coded charge cards; pre-recorded DVDs featuring the sport of football, light switch covers, computer game software and disks, and mouse pads” in Class 009.“

Jewelry, watches, clocks, ornamental pins, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, charms, rings, collectible coins, tie pins and clips, commemorative coins made of precious metal, pendants and key chains made of precious metal” in Class 014.

“Toys and sporting goods, namely, plush toys, stuffed animal toys, play figures, golf balls, golf bags, golf club covers, footballs, toy banks, board games, Christmas tree ornaments, balloons, jigsaw puzzles, toy and decorative windsocks, kites, pet toys, toy vehicles, billiard balls, dart boards, miniature toy helmets, corn hole board games, playing cards, paper party hats” in Class 028.

Opposition Faced by the Chargers

From the time the Chargers announced they were relocating to Los Angeles, the team has faced plenty of opposition.

First, opposition from fans who were understandably upset about the team’s decision to pick up and move from a city who stood by them, win or lose, for over half a century. Second, opposition and widespread criticism from the public who roasted the team when they changed their logo on social media. The roast was warranted though. 

Even if the logo was not going to be the team’s official logo and was solely used for marketing purposes, the first logo posted did indeed look like a love child between Tampa Bay’s lightning bolt and the Dodger’s interlocking logo. (The criticism lead to the logo being changed on the team’s social media pages three times in less than 36 hours.)

Third, the Chargers also face opposition in the form of trademark opposition. In late Dec. 2016, L.A. Gear (a athletic apparel company) filed a Notice of Opposition with the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board related to the clothing portion of the LA CHARGERS application. L.A. Gear argues that the LA CHARGERS mark conflicts with L.A. Gear’s trademark and is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of the goods.

In L.A. Gear’s Notice of Opposition, Opposer L.A. Gear cites 22 U.S. trademark registrations with first use as early as 1985. For the Chargers, there are two L.A. Gear registrations that could potentially be difficult to overcome and they are logo marks that were successfully registered for the phrase “LA” with the “GEAR.”,If L.A. Gear is successful in their Notice of Opposition, they could prevent the Chargers from selling “LA Chargers” branded gear, which potentially includes apparel with just an “LA” logo.

However, due to the high-profile nature of the football league, it is likely the football franchise and the apparel company will reach some agreement that will satisfy both parties and allow the Los Angeles Chargers to use “LA” in connection with apparel in some way.

(Interesting side note: L.A. Gear has no standing to oppose the LA Dodgers mark because the use of the Dodgers mark predated L.A. Gear’s existence. And in 2008 L.A. Gear did not file a Notice of Opposition against the Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy for a logo that included the words “LA Galaxy.”)

Trademark Dispute with L.A. Gear

L.A. Gear became popular in the 80s for its L.A. lights shoes. The Los-Angeles based company was founded in 1979 by the same man who also founded Skechers, Robert Greenberg, and offers retro-inspired clothing and shoes. Neither LA Gear nor the Chargers have made public statements about the trademark dispute. The Charger’s have until Feb. 16 to file an official response with the USPTO.

Background Information about L.A. Gear

L.A. Gear became popular in the 80s for its L.A. lights shoes. The Los-Angeles based company was founded in 1979 by the same man who also founded Skechers, Robert Greenberg, and offers retro-inspired clothing and shoes.

Lack of Public Statements about the Dispute

Neither LA Gear nor the Chargers have made public statements about the trademark dispute. The Charger’s have until Feb. 16 to file an official response with the USPTO.

Conclusion

The Chargers' move to Los Angeles has faced significant opposition from fans, the public, and trademark disputes. Despite the backlash, the team took steps to protect their intellectual property rights before the relocation. The Chargers filed trademark applications for LA CHARGERS and LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, covering a wide range of goods and services. However, they faced opposition from L.A. Gear, an athletic apparel company, which filed a Notice of Opposition. It is likely that the Chargers and L.A. Gear will reach an agreement to use 'LA' in connection with apparel. The trademark dispute is ongoing, and the Chargers have until Feb. 16 to respond.


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AUTHOR

Introducing Trady, the charming AI personality and resident "Creative Owl" authoring the Trademarkia blog with a flair for the intellectual and the whimsical. Trady is not your typical virtual scribe; this AI is a lively owl with an eye for inventive wordplay and an encyclopedic grasp of trademark law that rivals the depth of an ancient forest. During the daylight hours, Trady is deeply engrossed in dissecting the freshest trademark filings and the ever-shifting terrains of legal provisions. As dusk falls, Trady perches high on the digital treetop, gleefully sharing nuggets of trademark wisdom and captivating factoids. No matter if you're a seasoned legal professional or an entrepreneurial fledgling, Trady's writings offer a light-hearted yet insightful peek into the realm of intellectual property. Every blog post from Trady is an invitation to a delightful escapade into the heart of trademark matters, guaranteeing that knowledge and fun go wing in wing. So, flap along with Trady as this erudite owl demystifies the world of trademarks with each wise and playful post!

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