Original USFL sues Fox over USFL reboot

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The USFL will return in April. Unless it doesn’t.

The owners and executives of the original USFL have sued to block Fox from launching a league that uses the brand and team names of the spring league that was founded in 1983.

In a complaint filed Monday in a California federal court, an entity known as “The Real USFL, LLC” seeks an order preventing Fox from using the USFL name and the names and logos of any of the 18 teams that played in the original USFL.

The plaintiff alleges that Fox’s USFL “is an unabashed counterfeit,” and that Fox has taken the league’s name, eight team names, and eight team logos “to which it has no right.”

“It has traded on the false narrative that Fox’s League and USFL teams are the offspring of the original,” the complaint contends at paragraph 4. “They are not.”

The original USFL raised its concerns publicly last year, after Fox announced plans to bring back the USFL. Negotiations occurred, but Fox allegedly made it clear that it “had no intention of discussing the matter further.” Eventually, Fox claimed that the USFL had been defunct for more than 30 years, and that it had abandoned its trademarks.

The lawsuit includes claims for trademark infringement, false advertising, and false association. Ultimately, the case boils down to whether the original USFL retained the rights to the league name and the team names and logos. If the legal system concludes that it does, Fox has a very real problem.

“Fox could have easily started its own league with new teams, but instead chose to take the goodwill and nostalgia of the original league without the permission of the people who actually created it,” attorney Alex Brown said in a press release. “Fox can’t dispute that the ‘Real USFL’ marks are recognizable and valued because they’re using them and purposefully confusing its league with the original. Rather than do the right thing, Fox has chosen to try and bully the prior owners into submission. That’s not going to happen.”

What’s likely going to happen is that the original USFL will try to get a preliminary injunction preventing the league from launching in April with the original USFL league and team names and logos.

56 responses to “Original USFL sues Fox over USFL reboot

  1. I mean, they could just change the stickers and signage and start using different names if it came down to it.

  2. can someone write them a $3.76 check and mail it to a certain person who shall not be named?

  3. betterthanflorio says:
    February 28, 2022 at 8:14 pm
    I mean, they could just change the stickers and signage and start using different names if it came down to it
    Is it that easy if USFL still owns the rights? That’s like getting caught stealing and saying you can just pay for it now after the fact. I don’t think it’s that easy. If the USFL doesn’t own the rights, then there’d be no need to change anything.

  4. Blatant money grab. Wait until the league is in a position where it is too far down the road to change things then settle for a couple mil. I hope Fox sticks it to them.

  5. Does the original USFL have a league office? Has someone been sitting in it since 1983 waiting to sue someone?

  6. Trademarks are considered abandoned when they haven’t been used for 3 years. I’m not sure how the USFL can show that the trademarks are still protected.

  7. Wait….they didn’t secure the rights to the old freaking teams before going to market on that? No freaking way… that’s the most USFL thing the franchise could do!

  8. quint69 says:
    February 28, 2022 at 8:59 pm
    So what does this mean for Jeff Fisher?
    He’ll go 7-9

  9. quint69 says:
    February 28, 2022 at 8:59 pm
    So what does this mean for Jeff Fisher?

    He’ll go 7-9.

  10. Wow. So Fox’s entire business plan for a sports league was to just take someone else’s entire set of trademarks and run with it with no clearance?

    Please allow me to introduce my new band, I call it The Beatles.

  11. Well, The Washington Commanders should fit right in. Looks like that kind of name and logo anyway.

  12. Sounds like someone just wants a payoff. The tip off might be the group claiming trademark infringement is not called the USFL.

  13. Yeah dude, they abandoned that league 30 years ago after trump ruined it. They have no rights to that ip anymore. Fox will win.

  14. Well, they’re not wrong. I actually liked the Original USFL and the NFL and networks did them real dirty..now it’s payback time.

  15. Will the Dolphins be sued since their newest logo resembles the old Boston/NO/Portland Breakers logo?

  16. If they didn’t renew their trademarks, they have no case. Trademarks need to be renewed. I suspect they didn’t since Fox blew them off. If they still had valid active trademarks, that wouldn’t have happened.

  17. This is going to get settled out of court, and probably quickly. No way Fox wants this to drag out with the XFL looking to restart soon.

  18. Is the former owner of the New York/New Jersey Generals a part of this lawsuit?

  19. So the “Real USFL” went belly up when I was 9, did nothing since and act as if they’ve been planning a comeback for 39 years? Fox, crush these guys.

  20. you cant sit on copyrights for 30+ years and not use them, and then suddenly expect that your still retain them. You have to actively use them to retain them. Even if they just had an active twitter account that would have been enough, but they didnt, which is why they now have “The real USFL LLC”

  21. The law here is pretty straight forward and FOX is right about the trademarks and all relation to them. With zero business action taking place from original owners, all ownership has been defunct to trademark rights. This is a money grab.

  22. “New USFL” has the trademarks, tough. Let us have football please. I need USFL and MLS, not only MLS.

  23. Even if Fox is within the law, it’s a crummy, sleazy way to do business. Fox knows full well they’d be benefiting hugely from the brand goodwill/nostalgia the USFL created, but they’re deciding to take the value of other people’s work for free.

    There’s nothing honorable about that. They could pay a reasonable amount in a one-time or licensing way and still make plenty of money. This way is the creepy lowlife way to do it.

  24. Few will watch, no home games it’s clapping with one hand. Will it last 2 like the original, doubtful.

  25. Trademark’s aside, let them play football! This might be the only excitement we see until the NFL/College football starts again. After 30 years, trademarks are history. Probably only three owners even left on this earth. Trump doesnt need any more money!

  26. The original USFL has been licensing ‘throwback’ merchandise for years, hence their copyrights are probably still in force. It seems that Fox Sports has adopted the same moral character as Fox ‘News’.

  27. Write them a check and move on. Pretty smart waiting until right before launch.

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