12 October 2018

Kansas City Royals sue National Women's Soccer League over Utah Royals FC trademark


Michael A. Rueda
Partner | Head of US Sports and Entertainment | US

In August, the Kansas City Royals Baseball Corporation filed an opposition to the Utah Royals FC trademark. In its complaint, the Kansas City Royals contend that it has spent decades building and promoting its marks, which have achieved widespread recognition and fame. Utah Royals FC replaced the defunct FC Kansas City franchise and completed their debut season in September. The crux of the complaint is that the Kansas City Royals believe that the adoption of the Royals name for the new franchise as well as mark of a lion and crown design, indicia associated with the Kansas City Royals, constituted an attempt to tie the name and logo to the former Kansas City location of the predecessor team Utah Royals FC replaced by trading on the goodwill and recognition of their club and marks. The Kansas City Royals believe that the Utah City FC marks have the potential to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and to deceive the trade and public. The National Women's Soccer League had until October 8 to answer the complaint. The final deadline for the case is in March 2020.

This article was written with contributions from Tim Piscatelli.

Michael A. Rueda Partner | Head of US Sports and Entertainment | New York

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