Earlier this week we reported that a group representing the original USFL had filed a lawsuit against FOX Sports and the new USFL.
The lawsuit against the USFL claims that FOX is trying to “reap where it did now sow”.
FOX is trying to reap where it did not sow and profit from confusion among fans of the real USFL, by claiming the legacy of something it didn’t build.,” says Nicholas Matich of the McKool Smith law firm, which represents the Real USFL LLC, the organization of former USFL owners and executives. “The Real USFL is acting to protect the legacy of the players, owners, coaches, and staff of the historic league. Quite simply FOX is claiming to be something that it’s not—the heir of the 1980s league that launched numerous hall-of-fame careers and changed the game of football.”
They argue that FOX could have created a new football league with a new name and new teams, and by such it shows that the old license had value.
When this news came out, we reached out to league officials for a statement on the situation, which they provided shortly after via David Bernstein of Debevoise & Plimpton, counsel to Fox Sports and USFL Enterprises.
The lawsuit filed yesterday by an entity formed just a week ago is completely without merit. The new USFL registered its intellectual property rights in 2011 and is excited to launch games on schedule on April 16. The eleventh-hour attempt to extract value from the exciting new USFL is utterly frivolous, and we are exploring all options for redress.”
With the season right around the corner, it looks like the courts are moving swiftly. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reports that a hearing will take place March 16th.
The goal of the motion is to persuade the court to issue an order preventing Fox from using the USFL name or the names and logos of the eight teams while the case proceeds. It’s an aggressive but not uncommon move. Basically, the plaintiff hopes to persuade the presiding judge that the chances of winning are so strong, and the interests at play so important, that the relief ultimately sought should be granted while the underlying legal questions are addressed.
All in all, a successful motion doesn’t have the potential to block the league from playing this April, but could halt the usage of the USFL names and logos for the league and the eight teams.
We still feel that it’s highly unlikely that anything comes of this lawsuit. The “Real USFL LLC” has been around only a week, whereas the USFL trademarks in questions have been owned for over 11 years.
As always, we’ll keep you updated as more information comes out on this matter.
What do you think the outcome of the USFL v USFL lawsuit will be? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.