17 April 2019Trademarks

USPTO denies Dallas Mavericks ‘Matador’ trademarks

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied two trademark applications by the US basketball team Dallas Mavericks.

Mark Cuban, who owns the Mavericks, sought to trademark ‘The Matador’ and ‘El Matador’, the nicknames given to one of the team’s players, Luka Dončić.

The USPTO denied the applications on the basis that it found there would be a likelihood of confusion against 20 other preexisting ‘Matador’ trademarks similar to those in the application.

Under US law, when applying for a trademark, brands must show bona fide intent to use the marks for all the goods and services listed in the filing.

Additionally, the USPTO found the goods and services listed under the marks were too broad. The list included trademark registration for clothing, sporting goods, to snack food, lighting fixtures and even Christmas decorations.

According to Forbes, at the time of the filings, Cuban said the team was in the practice of “grabbing trademarks and URLs for players as a way to make sure someone else doesn’t get them”.

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