Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
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Friday, January 23, 2004

What's In a Name?: Bruce Ratner completed his purchase of the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday and plans to move the team to Brooklyn no later than 2009. But will the team change its name? The N.Y. Post has an article mentioning that the New Jersey Sports Authority will ask the NBA to allow it to keep the name "New Jersey Nets." According to the Trademark Blog, though, the New Jersey Nets trademark is owned by New Jersey Basketball, LLC, and it is not certain what will happen to this entity following the sale.

The Trademark Blog also has a listing of who owns numerous domain names combining "New York," "Brooklyn" and "NY" with "Nets."

In addition, the same blog has a very insightful post which shows that a team does not abandon its trademarks when it relocates to another city. The main case on record involves the Baltimore Colts, the NFL team that moved to Indianapolis in the 1980s but kept the "Colts" name.