On September 30, two lawyers associated with a large Philadelphia law firm sought trademark protection for the name, "Brooklyn New Yorkers", three logos featuring either a basketball or a basketball player and the Brooklyn Bridge and even a slogan, "We Come to Play".
There's no indication in the US Patent and Trademark Office files that the Nets are associated with the lawyers. A spokesperson for the team declined comment Monday when asked by NetsDaily about the trademark applications. A spokesperson for Mikhail Prohorov's Onexim Group told NetsDaily recently that the applications are "not ours". The attorney of record on three of the five applications has not responded to a request for information.
Separately, the URL, brooklynnewyorkers.com, has also been registered in recent months. The URL was registered through a proxy domain register. The owner is not identified.
The two lawyers seeking the trademark as well as the two attorneys of record on the applications are associated with the Philadelphia firm of Pepper Hamilton, one of the nation's most prestigious. Of the four lawyers, three have experience in trademark protection and intellectual property.
In each case, the trademark sought is for clothing including among other things: shirts, jerseys, jackets, athletic uniforms, headbands, hats, caps and footwear.
The logos, more concepts than finished drawings, make it clear the trademarks are for a Brooklyn basketball team. In one, a basketball player straddles the Brooklyn Bridge. In another, the words, "Brooklyn New Yorkers" fronts a basketball featuring a world map while in a third, another version of "Brooklyn New Yorkers" is imposed on a basketball. The Patent and Trademark Office continues to review the applications.
The decision to seek trademark protection around the time the team informed the NBA it would be changing its name from the "New Jersey Nets". The NBA requires a team to file two years prior to a name change but it does not require a team to state what the new name will be. Under an agreement with the Empire State Development Corp., the Nets' new name must include either "Brooklyn" or "New York" in its name.