Inter have won the first round in a legal battle with Inter Miami, which could force David Beckham’s MLS club to change their name.
The trademark row erupted in September 2018 when Inter Miami CF unveiled their franchise, including a name and logo that were very similar to those of the historic Serie A giants.
This became a serious problem because Internazionale had filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2014 to obtain exclusive commercial rights to the term Inter.
Beckham holds a 10 per cent minority interest in Inter Miami CF and they are due to make their debut game in MLS next month.
As Major League Soccer is a single-entity structure, where teams and player contracts are centrally owned by the league, Inter are in the legal tussle with MLS rather than specifically Inter Miami.
The first verdict came in today and MLS “failed to adequately plea its Section 2 (d) likelihood of confusion claim.”
MLS lawyers had suggested there were many clubs around the world who use Inter in their name, but this did not meet its burden to show “MLS has valid propriety, or ownership, right in the name Inter,” explained law.com.
It is the first step, but already an important victory for the Nerazzurri, who are trying to expand their fanbase in North America.