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Former USFL owners, executives sue Fox Sports to stop launch of new league

Teams in the new USFL are using names from the original league from the 1980s. Former owners and executives are throwing the yellow flag.
Credit: AP
New Jersey Generals Herschel Walker is stopped by the Houston Gamblers defensive unit, including Andy Hawkins (58) and Luther Bradley (27) during their USFL game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., April 7, 1985. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

LOS ANGELES — A group of former team owners and executives from the original USFL is suing Fox Sports to halt the launch of the new spring football league with the same name, alleging the new USFL is inappropriately using the old league's branding.

The complaint filed in California on Monday alleges trademark infringement, false advertising and false association by the new league. The group is seeking an injunction to prevent the new league from using any names or logos associated with the defunct league.

The original USFL played games from 1983 to 1985, and the group suing the new league alleges Fox Sports and its partners didn't properly obtain use of the league's trademarks and other intellectual property. The suit calls the new league "an unabashed counterfeit.”

The former owners and executives are seeking an order preventing Fox from calling its league the USFL or using the names and logos of any of the original league's 18 teams. All eight teams in the new league are using the names of 1980s USFL teams.

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