Inter Miami CF are preparing for their debut campaign in MLS. But even before the season has begun, the David Beckham owned-side have hit a major roadblock. Inter Miami are reportedly being forced to change their name after losing a lawsuit to Serie A club Inter Milan.
Multiple reports have suggested that Inter Miami lost the first round of the trademark lawsuit. Inter Milan, also called as 'Inter', have been using the name since its inception in 1908. The Italian club filed a complaint to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for trademark infringement.
The first round of the lawsuit reportedly took place on Monday where one of Inter Miami's arguments was dismissed. This could result in the team being forced to change its name just over a month before its debut on March 14.
Reports suggest USPTO agreed with club's first argument. There are several clubs around the world that use the name 'Inter' like FC Inter Turku (Finland), NK Inter Zapresic (Croatia) and Inter Leipzig (Germany). However, the MLS club failed to provide valid ownership of the name 'Inter'. Hence, their argument was dismissed.
Meanwhile, The Miami New Times reported that Inter Milan submitted a trademark application to the USPTO in 2014 to make ‘Inter’ an exclusive brand in the United States. It gave the club an edge in the said lawsuit.
The lawsuit is still far from over. It is expected that the MLS club will hit back in the upcoming hearing. However, if forced to relinquish their current name, Inter Miami could be looking at a major financial hit before their debut campaign unfolds. From merchandise to various other rights, the club could be forced to start everything from scratch.