Fox Sports sued by 1980s club owners for new American football league

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FOX Sports signage on display prior to an NFC Divisional Playoff football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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  • ’80s league owners said they didn’t license the new USFL
  • Fox accused of falsely claiming his league is heir to the original

(Reuters) – An affiliate of the 1980s United States Football League sued Fox Sports in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday, calling Fox’s new league of the same name a “brazen infringement”.

the trial said Fox copied the original USFL logo and team branding without permission, and “traded on the false narrative” that the new league is a relaunch of the original.

The first USFL ran for three seasons from 1983 to 1985 and featured Hall of Fame players including Steve Young, Reggie White and Herschel Walker.

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The Real USFL LLC, a holding company created by the league’s former team owners, said it still licenses USFL trademarks to be used on throwback apparel as well as books and movies on the league.

The lawsuit said Fox purchased its USFL trademark rights from a company unrelated to the original league.

Fox announced last year that it would be “bringing back” the USFL this spring. His first game is scheduled for April 16.

The lawsuit said the owners of the original league tried and failed to resolve the dispute, and Fox’s attorneys argued that the original league abandoned its trademarks.

“FOX is trying to reap where it didn’t sow and take advantage of the confusion among true USFL fans, claiming the legacy of something it didn’t build,” the attorney said Monday. of the original league’s Nicholas Matich of McKool Smith in a statement.

Fox Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is The Real USFL LLC v. Fox Sports Inc, US District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2:22-cv-01350.

For the original league: Nicholas Matich and Kirk Dillman of McKool Smith, Alex Brown and Mark Lanier of Lanier Law Firm

For Fox: n/a

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