Major League Soccer contends that it will be damaged by a trademark application filed by Serie A club Inter Milan over usage of the term “Inter,” according to a legal document filed by the league.
In a notice of opposition filed on March 25 to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, MLS says: “No one soccer team can claim exclusive rights to the term INTER, therefore Milan has no exclusive rights to the term INTER.”
MLS plans to introduce expansion Inter Miami CF as its 25th club for the 2020 season. The club, which counts David Beckham as one of its principal owners, will be formally known as Club Internacional de Futbol Miami.
Inter Milan, winners of 18 Italian top-flight titles and three Champions League trophies, filed a trademark application in 2014 for the usage of the term, according to the document.
MLS argues that numerous clubs around the world use the term in their names and that it should not be associated with a particular side. Others teams cited are Inter Nashville FC, Inter Atlanta FC, FC Inter Turku (Finland), NK Inter Zapresic (Croatia), Inter Leipzig (Germany), and Inter de Grand-Goave (Haiti).
When Beckham unveiled the name of the club in September 2018, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star said the name “celebrates the incredible energy of one of the most exciting cities in the world — one that is diverse, passionate and ambitious — a city that has welcomed me and so many others, so warmly.”
Inter Milan, officially known as FC Internazionale Milano S.p.A, made light following that announcement on social media. Beckham played at rivals AC Milan for two loan spells while he was with the LA Galaxy.
Inter Miami announced in March that they will play its first two seasons at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium while working toward building a permanent home at Miami Freedom Park.