The US Major League Soccer (MLS) filed an opposition against a US trademark application for INTER owned by the Italian football club Inter Milan for classes 9, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, 41.
The main ground for this opposition was lack of distinctiveness and descriptiveness of the word INTER in relation to the football goods and services.
MLS started this proceeding because of its plans for the new Inter Miami football club, which will start playing in the league in 2020. The president and one of the shareholders in this club is David Beckham.
According to the trademark law in The US and around the world, the trademark owner has the right to use the mark, dispose of it and to prohibit third parties of using it.
In light of this, MLS considers the word INTER as not distinctive for the reason of which it has not to be monopolized by any sport club bearing in mind how many clubs use it such as Inter Turku, Inter Leipzig, Inter Baku, Inter de Grand-Goave, NK Inter Zapresic, Inter Moengotapoe, Inter de Luanda. Inter Club d’Escaldes, Inter Atlanta FC.
It is highly likely that this opposition will be successful but for goods and services which regard football as a sport. For those of the goods and services, however, where INTER has inherited distinctiveness, the trademark can be registered which at least will give some merchandising advantages to Inter Milan.
Most likely there will be negotiations between the clubs.