With talks of a second New York franchise heating up, the on again off again MLS Rumors has uncovered an interesting piece of information that is sure to further ignite speculation.
The above are trademark applications filed by Major League Soccer for both “Empire FC” and “City FC.”
Years ago, Empire FC (or a variation of it) was the proposed name for the team that would eventually be called the Metrostars. In context with the leagues on-going discussions with New York City officials about building a stadium in Flushing Meadow, both these franchise names could be viable alternatives MLS would like to own if the team is manned by an ownership group outside of the New York Cosmos.
Empire of Soccer contacted a trademark paralegal (who chose to remain anonymous) to help explain this latest move by the league offices.
“These are trademark applications,” she explained. “They have been filed based on Intent to Use.”
By filing an Intent to Use application, Major League Soccer stakes claim to the name before an opposing party can claim it’s usage. “The examinations are reviewed by an examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office to determine whether there are any conflicting marks out there or if there is any other reason why the mark is not valid,” she continued. “If there is, an office action will issue and the applicant will have to respond. If not, the mark will be published for opposition.
“Anyone wishing to oppose the mark has 30 days to oppose if they feel that they already have rights to that mark or a similar mark. There are extensions available but I won’t go into it. If no one opposes, the mark is allowed.”
“The applicant has 6 months from the Notice of Allowance to file Statements of Use for each class of goods/services filed. They should be using it for at least one item in each class that they filed, and delete any items they are not using at the time, but they will only need to show use for one item per class.
“If the Statement of Use is accepted, the mark will register,” she said. “It is a whole process. Extensions are allowed for 6 months on the Statement of Use – up to 3 years. If you can’t prove use by then, you will need to refile.”