SBD/February 6, 2014/Franchises

Coyotes' Name Change To "Arizona" Could Face Trademark Battle With Local Man

The Coyotes next season will change their name from the "Phoenix Coyotes" to the "Arizona Coyotes," but Phoenix resident Tony Fioretto "has already registered the trade name with the state and has sought federal trademark protection, although he so far has been denied," according to Caitlin McGlade of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. State records show that Fioretto also has "registered other trade names with the state, including Phx Suns, Phx Cardinals, Phx Coyotes and AZ Diamondbacks." Coyotes officials "would not publicly say whether" they plan to file for a federal trademark, which "trumps state registration claims." Coyotes President & CEO Anthony LeBlanc and other team owners "agreed to pursue the name change after inking a deal with Glendale last year." Fioretto "registered 'Arizona Coyotes'" and the other names with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office in '10. Fioretto "dropped his state registration for Phoenix Open after the Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, sued him" last year. Thunderbirds attorney Andrea Stone said, "It’s analogous to cyber-squatting" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/6).
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