"The USPTO has denied the trademark application for the NFL's Washington Commanders.
On May 18th, the USPTO issued the denial citing two reasons. 1, An existing trademark for "Commanders' Classic." 2, Pending applications filed by a DC-area man.
The Washington Commanders' trademark was refused because of an existing registration for: "Commanders' Classic". This is the name of a yearly college football game between the Air Force and Army teams.
The second reason the Commanders' trademark was refused was due to pending applications for: Washington Space Commanders and Washington Wolf Commanders. The filings were made by Martin McCaulay, a DC-area man, who filed the trademarks trying to guess the new team name.
What are the Commanders' next steps? As for the "Commanders' Classic" registration, the team can file a response, arguing that a NFL team is unlikely to be confused with a single college game, or attempt to buy out the rights or sign a co-existence agreement.
As for the pending trademark applications, McCaulay has told the press that he intends to turn over any trademarks the team may need, without any cost. We'll see if he keeps his word.
I believe the Washington Commanders will be able to work through these issues. It is likely the USPTO will drop the refusal due to the "Commander's Classic" trademark if a good legal argument is submitted. Then, all the Commanders need is a little help from McCaulay."
I know knew ownership tends to make changes when they arrive, but the Commanders literally just got a new name. I can't imagine they want to throw away all the investments into the Commander name so few years into the name.
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