SBD/13/Franchises

PRESTO: JUDGE'S RULING CLEARS WAY FOR BULLETS TO SEE WIZARD

          The Bullets won a trademark infringement case Friday,
     clearing the way for the team to change its name to the
     Wizards next season, according to Heath & Adande of the
     WASHINGTON POST.  The ruling allows the Bullets and the NBA
     to move ahead with developing Wizards merchandise in time
     for the team's move into the MCI Center this fall.  The
     trademark case was brought by the Harlem Wizards, a
     traveling comedy basketball team, and they said they plan to
     appeal the decision.  U.S. District Judge William Walls said
     the Harlem Wizards "would not be affected because fans will
     know the obvious differences between them and the NBA team." 
     The N.Y. firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
     represented the NBA and the Bullets. Harlem Wizards players
     testified that some people who saw them wearing "Wizards"
     shirts asked them if they played for the Bullets, but Walls
     wrote that "these examples are too weak and few to establish
     actual confusion" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/11).

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