NFL Files Extension of Opposition to USFL's Michigan Panthers Trademark

NFL Files Extension of Opposition to USFL’s Michigan Panthers Trademark

Earlier this year it was announced that the United States Football League (USFL) would be retuning in 2022 on FOX. When the news dropped the league stated that they would launch with a minimum of eight teams, which would include franchises from the original USFL. Since then, we’ve learned a lot more details.

Currently, the USFL is in talks with the city of Birmingham, AL to host all eight teams in 2022. If a deal is struck, Birmingham could host up to four teams in 2023; with the goal of having all franchises in their respective cities by the third season.

The National Spring Football League (NSFL), which was created by FOX to house all of the USFL assets, recently submitted their own set of trademark applications, separate from the ones active from The Spring League, LLC.

In the latest round of trademarks, we see 15 former USFL teams that could potentially return. But… it looks like one may have already hit a snag.

Alt-Football fan Seth Lessans took to Twitter with the news when he noticed that the Carolina Panthers had filed a request for an extension of opposition to the Michigan Panthers trademark.

As we mentioned earlier, there’s currently USFL trademarks spread across multiple entities. The filing we’re talking about is in regards to the Michigan Panthers trademark owned by The Spring League LLC. The NSFL’s round of trademarks didn’t go live until October 12th, so it’s likely we’ll see their trademark targeted as well.

The Michigan Panthers won the USFL’s inaugural championship in 1983. The franchise also holds the record for the most attended USFL game from when they hosted the Oakland Invaders in the Western Division championships in front of 60,237 fans.

To this day, the Panthers are the last professional football team to win a championship in Michigan.

Do you plan on supporting the USFL in 2022? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.

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  1. Apparently, Charlotte ripped-off the Michigan logo when they created their Panthers, and now they are crying foul? Hypocrisy at it’s finest!

  2. How is it that the Houston Oilers trademark is a NFL property still, yet no team, so the XFL Houston Roughnecks have to change their look. Yet the Michigan Panthers which are older than the Carolina Panthers, has no team, yet its the Michigan Panthers that have to change? Something in the lawyer NFL logic is wrong, or the law is wrong…it can’t be both ways. This sounds like the NFL just monopolizing the market with names.

  3. The way copyright law works, you have to actively defend your trademark by finding ways to use it. For instance, this is a big deal with comic book characters. Marvel Comics literally created a character named Captain Marvel so that no company could use the name. There had been another Captain Marvel at another company that left the comics business years earlier. No, the Titans don’t use the Oilers logo, but NFL Properties keeps finding ways to create merchandise using past teams. There was no one to do that for the Michigan Panthers, so legally the image was available for Carolina.

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