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Is Inter Miami’s name in jeopardy? Inter Milan wins first match in court.

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 2/10/2020 By Wells Dusenbury, South Florida Sun Sentinel
Diego Alonso standing next to a football ball: Head coach Diego Alonso at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10 © Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Head coach Diego Alonso at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10

Inter Miami CF has yet to play its inaugural match, but the South Florida soccer club has lost the first part of a key showdown off the field.

Locked in a trademark fight with Italian soccer powerhouse Inter Milan over the use of the word “Inter” in their name, Inter Miami has had one of its two arguments dismissed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to Law.com.

a man holding a football ball: Head coach Diego Alonso at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10 © Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Head coach Diego Alonso at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10

Founded in 1908, Inter Milan (full name Football Club Internazionale Milano) filed a trademark application in 2014 for the commercial use of the term “Inter” in the United States, which would prevent Miami’s new Major League Soccer team (full name Club Internacional de F 1/4 u00fatbol Miami) from marketing itself as “Inter.”

a man with a football ball: Midfielder Wil Trapp at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10 © Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Midfielder Wil Trapp at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10

In 2019, MLS — on behalf of Inter Miami — challenged the claim on the grounds of “Inter” being “merely descriptive,” and there being a “likelihood of confusion.”

The trademark office ruled in favor of Inter Milan, dismissing MLS’ “likelihood of confusion” argument, according to Law.com, which noted that Inter Miami plans on re-pleading its case.

If Inter Miami loses its trademark arguments on both grounds, the team could be forced to change its name, which would be a major blow as the franchise tries to gain traction in South Florida.

Inter Miami, which plays its first preseason game Saturday and its inaugural match March 1 against Los Angeles FC, earlier suffered a significant setback in its attempt to build a Miami-based stadium after toxic levels of arsenic and other contaminants were found at the proposed site. While the David Beckham-led club was already scheduled to play its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale at newly renovated Lockhart Stadium, the team could remain in Broward longer than expected.

a group of young men playing a game of football: Midfielder Wil Trapp at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10 © Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Midfielder Wil Trapp at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10

Inter Miami will make its home debut March 14 against the LA Galaxy.

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©2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

a man playing a game of football: Head coach Diego Alonso at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10 © Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Head coach Diego Alonso at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

a group of people playing a game of football: Players train at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10

Players train at the Inter Miami CF Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale Monday, Feb. 10
© Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS
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