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January 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

MLS, supporters issue statements on league’s ‘Cascadia Cup’ trademark application

UPDATE 1:26 p.m. — Here is a joint statement released by the Cascadia supporters groups:

The supporters groups in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver jointly oppose Major League Soccer’s claim of ownership of the Cascadia Cup trademark. The three supporters groups have jointly used the Cascadia Cup mark for many years and have been the rightful owners of the mark. In response to recent statements and actions by MLS, the supporters groups recently formed a new entity, the Cascadia Cup Council, which acquired the supporters’ groups trademark rights in the Cascadia Cup mark. The Cascadia Cup Council will ensure that the mark remains in the hands of the very supporters who created it.

The Cascadia Cup Council recently filed a U.S. federal trademark registration application for the Cascadia Cup mark, and a registration application will likely be filed in Canada as well. The Cascadia Cup Council also intends to formally oppose Major League Soccer’s attempt to register the trademark that the public recognizes as a fan-created competition that predates Major League Soccer in Vancouver, Portland or Seattle.

Not only does the Cascadia Cup Council believe they rightfully own the trademark to Cascadia Cup but they also are of the belief they are the appropriate entity to protect the mark from third parties that are unaffiliated with the supporters groups in the Pacific Northwest.

* * *

A few fans in the area have raised concern over MLS applying for a trademark of the “Cascadia Cup” name recently.

A league spokesman issued this statement on the subject:

“With the interests of the MLS clubs in the Pacific Northwest and our fans in mind, Major League Soccer, applied for a trademark to the name ‘Cascadia Cup.’

A registered trademark would put Major League Soccer in a position to protect the brand from exploitation by parties unaffiliated with the League and its supporters. However, we understand that some of our fans have concerns about how the trademark will be managed, and we are planning to meet soon with leaders of the three teams’ supporters groups to discuss the topic together.”

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