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Coyotes name change could face hurdle with trademark issue

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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The Phoenix Coyotes will be renamed for next season to the Arizona Coyotes but if we have learned anything from the Coyotes in the past few years, it's that nothing is ever easy, even a seemingly simple name change.

It turns out the name Arizona Coyotes is already trademarked in the state by Phoenix resident Tony Fioretto. He registers that and a couple of variations on the other team names in the Valley of the Sun hoping that one they would look to change names.

That day has arrived. From the Arizona Republic:

Fioretto said he registered names similar to Valley sports franchises as part of his plan to open a north Phoenix gym with basketball courts, an indoor golf facility and a baseball diamond.

"I did everything legally," he said. "These were things that were part of my master plan. [The names] had recognition."

Trademark-squatter doesn't quite have the same ring to it as cyber-squatter, but that's pretty much what Fioretto has done here. He doesn't seem to hide the fact that his whole goal here is to get paid off simply because he had the foresight to go register the name in case this ever happened.

Laws being such as they are, the Coyotes franchise has a pretty compelling case to have the rights to the name, registration or not. It doesn't mean it will be willy nilly, especially if Fioretto is going to fight for his "master plan" -- a pretty safe assumption, guys who think in terms of master plans don't give up easily -- but they have actual connections with the name and that will help.

So just when you thought the days of litigation were done for the Coyotes, something as bening as changing from Phoenix to Arizona could get them involved in the legal world once more.

S/t Puck Daddy

 
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