We successfully represented Arkansas State University (A-State) in a trademark dispute with Chattanooga Professional Soccer Management LLC (Chattanooga Soccer). On September 18, 2023, Bass, Berry & Sims received a favorable trial decision from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on behalf of A-State, who has been embroiled for the past five years over the mark RED WOLVES.
In 2008, A-State began using the RED WOLVES mark and filed applications to register the mark at the USPTO. In late 2018, Chattanooga Soccer adopted the name RED WOLVES for its USL major league soccer team. A-State sent the soccer club a cease and desist letter, alleging trademark infringement and demanding that Chattanooga Soccer cease the unauthorized use of A-State’s RED WOLVES trademarks. In response, Chattanooga Soccer filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in federal court which A-State had dismissed on grounds of A-State’s sovereign immunity.
The case resumed at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, where it has been pending since 2019, and recently went to trial. On September 18, the Board issued an order sustaining A-State’s opposition and refusing to register the RED WOLVES mark to Chattanooga Soccer on the grounds that it is confusingly similar to A-State’s registered RED WOLVES mark, finding that on the facts presented in this case, college sports and professional sports are related to each other, and that the marks and channels of trade are nearly identical.
This case was covered by the media, including the article published by Law360, “Arkansas State Univ. Gets TTAB Win In Feud With Soccer Club,” (September 20, 2023).