"The fact that these other guys have filed applications for trademark registrations, I think it is a cautionary tale," Birch Stewart Kolasch & Birch LLP trademark attorney Michael Smith told Law360. "Teams want to go ahead
file an intent to use applications early on so they can be first in line. That is not to say that the Washington team is not going to be able to resolve the issue, but it complicates things more."
Smith said the Washington team likely has grounds to challenge applicants that are seemingly trying to preempt the team for not actually using the mark or not having a "bona fide intent to use" the mark when the
application was filed.
"You cannot just file an application to preserve a name," Smith said. "You have to have an intent to use it commercially."
But challenging a trademark application can be an 18-month or longer process and can be more difficult if the trademark has already been registered, Smith said. It is possible to negotiate with the other applicants, but then
there is the process of registration by the team itself.
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