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MLS: Inter Milan battle David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise in court over naming rights

Ben Roberts
ANALYST
News
348   //    05 Apr 2019, 21:16 IST

Beckham founded Inter Miami in January 2018
Beckham founded Inter Miami in January 2018

What's the story?

Inter Milan are currently locked in a legal battle with David Beckham's MLS Franchise, Inter Miami, over the use of the name "Inter", which the former had tried to patent back in 2014 with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office.

In case you didn't know...

Inter Miami are a professional football team based in Miami, Florida, and were established in January 2018. The president of the side is David Beckham; he's also the owner, along with five others: Simon Fuller, Marcelo Claure, Jorge Mas, Jose Mas, and Masayoshi Son.

The team is set to join the MLS in 2020, with their stadium being built a season or two later.

The idea for Inter Miami can be traced back to when Beckham signed with the MLS back in 2007. A clause in his contract offered him the chance to own an expansion team at a discounted franchise fee. Beckham and the other owners would be officially awarded the expansion team by the MLS on January 29, 2018.

The heart of the matter

As mentioned above, Inter Milan had filed a US Patent and Trademark application to make 'Inter' an exclusive brand name in America back in 2014, but apparently, nothing came of it as Inter Miami was formed four years later without a hiccup.

However, this news has not gone down well with the Serie A side who are taking their claim to court. This has been met with a claim of opposition by Inter Miami and the MLS, though, who had this to say on the matter:

"Because of the widespread use of the term 'Inter' in soccer, the relevant consumers do not associate the term 'Inter' with one soccer team.
"'Inter' by itself is not a source indicator in connection with goods and services associated with soccer.
"MLS will be damaged by the registration sought by Applicant [Inter Milan] because such a registration would prevent registration of the term 'Inter' with other wording upon showing of acquired distinctiveness in connection with a soccer team."
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It's believed that another factor in the court case is with regards to Inter Miami's badge, which looks strikingly similar to that of Inter Milan's.

What's next?

A verdict on the court case is expected by May 4.

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